Roman Saini is teaching live on Unacademy Plus
Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping, issues of buffer stocks and food security Lesson 4
In this Lesson Revamping PDS in India
Vigilance squad should be strengthened to detect corruption Personnel-in-charge of the department should be chosen locally . * FCl Reforms as suggested by Shantha Kumar committee . FCI and other prominent agencies should provide quality food grains for distribution Frequent checks & raids should be conducted to eliminate bogus and duplicate cards The Civil Supplies Corporation should open more fair price shops in rural areas The fair price dealers must be instructed to display rate chart and quantity available in the block-boards in front of the shop . . .
Finance minister Arun Jaitley in his budget speech proposed the idea of food stamp scheme He has proposed to try the scheme in few districts of India to see its viability Food stamps are given to the underprivileged by issue of coupons, vouchers, electronic card transfer etc. they can purchase commodities at any shop or outlet The state government would then pay back the grocery shops for the stamps . * * * In the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) proposed by the UPA government ,the government had proposed that if it is viable it would universalise the PDS; if food stamps are introduced it would be a targeted public distribution system
Food coupons- Household is given the freedom to choose where it buys food Increases incentive for competitive prices and assured quality of food grains among PDS stores Even Migrant workers can use them Ration shops get full price for food grains from the poor and have no incentive to turn the poor away * . . .
Shanta Kumar committee recommended gradual introduction of cash transfers in PDS starting with large cities with more than a million population, extending it to grain surplus states and then giving option to deficit states to opt for cash or physical grain distribution This will be much more cost effective way to help the poor and in line with best international practices DBT could save the exchequer more than Rs 30,000 crore annually Cash transfers can be indexed with overall price level to protect the amount of real income transfers, It can be given in the name of lady of the house, and routed through Prime Minister's Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) . . . .
23 crore ration cards in the country has been digitised and 56% of these already seeded with Aadhaar . According government data, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Delhi have completed seeding of all the ration cards with Aadhaar Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Manipur have been slow in this technological process . . Bihar has 1.54 crore ration cards but only 9,000 cards seeded with Aadhaar . Tamil Nadu with around 2 crore ration cards has only 10% of these cards linked with Aadhaar
Several states have now installed electronic point of sale (ePOS) devices at their fair price shops The objective of ePOS is to ensure that only genuine cardholders whose names are mentioned in the ration card can buy the subsidised commodities Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh have almost completed the process States with large poor populations like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha are yet to make any headway in equipping their fair price shops with ePOS devices . * * .
The ePOS device captures the buyer's biometrics and verifies it online with the Aadhaar database whenever the ration is taken The device helps record all FPS transactions electronically It enables real-time accounts of opening stock, daily sales and closing stock It would facilitate monthly allotment of stocks to the FPSs based on the stock position . * * e It would facilitate monitoring and detection of fraudulent transactions . But only 22% of the 5.3 lakh fair price shops in the country have installed ePOS devices so far
. NFSA mandated some PDS reforms based on Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh experiences . End-to-end digitisation Only a handful of states had reliable "last-mile authentication" of sales in place In most states the sales records were maintained by PDS dealers in physical registers and rarely verified by the public or officials This enabled corrupt dealers to make fake entries of grain sales while diverting PDS grain to the open market .
Digitisation of ration card allows online entry and verification of beneficiary data Online storing of monthly entitlement of beneficiaries, number of dependants, offtake of food grains by beneficiaries from FPS Computerised allocation to FPS -declaration of stock balance, allows for quick and efficient tracking of transactions Issue of smart cards in place of ration cards - Stores data such as name, address, biometrics, BPL/APL category and monthly entitlement of beneficiaries and family members * .