Question : FAILURE OF PDS IN BIHAR



(a) whether the mid-term appraisal of the Ninth Plan has revealed that people living below the poverty line are no longer PDS beneficiaries in the State of Bihar;

(b) if so, the details thereof;

(c) the reasons for the failure of PDS in the State;

(d) whether the Union Government have initiated any corrective steps in this regard; and

(e) if so, the details thereof?

Answer given by the minister

THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS, FOOD AND PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION ( SHRI SRIRAM CHAUHAN )

(a), (b) and (c) Planning Commission in the Mid-Term appraisal of 9th Five Year Plan has cited a study in Bihar which has reported inter alia that on the whole, only Government staff, agents and retailers benefit from the scheme.

Public Distribution System (PDS) is operated under the joint responsibility of Government of India and the State Governments/UT Administrations. While the Central Government is responsible for procuring and making available to the States the PDS commodities to the Principal Distribution Centres, identification of BPL population, issue of ration cards and distribution of subsidised foodgrains to the cardholders rests with the State Governments.

It is not correct that people living below the poverty line are no longer PDS beneficiaries in the State of Bihar. As per the report received from Government of Bihar, however, at present the prevailing prices of foodgrains available in open market is nearly at par with the rates of BPL foodgrains at the retail level. It is further reported by Bihar Government that, therefore, beneficiaries under BPL category are not much inclined to lift their foodgrains from PDS. Lifting of foodgrains during last four years is as follows:

		(figures in MT)

Allocation Lifting Rice Wheat Rice Wheat
1997-98 380560 545560 158258 414105 1998-99 412320 618480 227075 533418 1999-2000 412320 618480 216977 575927 2000-2001 824640 1236950 109205 280919



(d)&(e): State Government of Bihar has been requested to initiate suitable measures at all levels to rejuvenate the Public Distribution System. State Governments have been requested to closely monitor PDS at the Fair Price Shops (FPSs) and other levels and make arrangement for distribution of the PDS commodities to the target beneficiaries in a transparent and accountable manner with the active involvement of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) .