(a) whether the Union Government has received any requests from the States for increasing the number of beneficiaries covered under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY);

(b) if so, the details thereof and the reaction of the Government thereto alongwith the steps taken thereon;

(c) the details of the mechanism in place to ensure distribution of foodgrains to the intended beneficiaries of AAY;

(d) whether the Government has recently undertaken a review/evaluation of AAY;

(e) if so, the details and the outcome thereof indicating the irregularities detected/noticed during the course of the evaluation; and

(f) the corrective steps taken thereon?

Answer given by the minister


(a) to (f): A Statement is laid on the Table of the House.


(a) & (b): In order to make the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) more focused and targeted at the poorest of the poor, Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) was launched in December, 2000 for one crore families to be identified from the Below Poverty Line (BPL) families. Coverage under this scheme has been expanded thrice since then i.e. during 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06 covering additional 50 lakh households each time. Thus the total coverage under AAY was raised to 2.50 crore AAY families. The identification of AAY families within the target of AAY families allocated to each State/UT is the responsibility of concerned State/UT Government. Against the accepted number of 2.50 crore AAY families given to State/UT Governments, upto April, 2012 they have reported issuance of AAY ration cards to 2.43 crore AAY families. Allocation of foodgrains (rice & wheat) to these AAY families are made @ 35 kg per family per month at a highly subsidized Central Issue Price (CIP) of Rs.2 per kg for wheat and Rs.3 per kg for rice.

Requests have been received from State Governments and others for coverage of additional families under AAY and allocation of foodgrains to them in States of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh. As the State Governments are required to identify AAY families within the ceiling of number of AAY families allocated to each State, the requests for coverage of additional families under AAY beyond the targeted number could not be acceded to. States/Union Territories (UTs) are also advised from time to time to review the existing list of AAY beneficiaries and remove the ineligible beneficiaries so as to include only the most eligible.

(c): Public Distribution System (Control) Order, 2001 mandates the State and UT Governments to carry out all required action to ensure smooth functioning of TPDS. In terms of the PDS (Control) Order, 2001, Food Corporation of India (FCI) or any other agency designated for the purpose by the Central Government is to ensure physical delivery of foodgrains to State Governments for distribution under the Public Distribution System as per the allocations made by the Central Government. State Governments shall make arrangements for taking delivery of essential commodities issued by the Central Government by their designated agencies or nominees from the FCI depots/godowns and ensure further delivery to the fair price shop. State Governments shall also exercise necessary checks to ensure that full quantity lifted by them reaches their godowns and in turn the fair price shops.

In consultation with the State/UT Governments, a Nine Point Action Plan was also evolved in 2006, which inter-alia includes continuous review of BPL/AAY lists to eliminate bogus/ineligible ration cards, involvement of elected Panchayati Raj Institutions(PRIs) in PDS operations including running of fair price shops, representation of PRIs on Vigilance Committees, display of BPL and AAY lists by fair price shops for ensuring transparency, door-step delivery of foodgrains, etc, alongwith strict action to be taken against the guilty to ensure leakage free distribution of foodgrains.

(d) to (f): This Department has been getting the functioning of TPDS, including the implementation of AAY, evaluated by different agencies from time to time. The latest evaluation study of TPDS was got conducted by National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) in respect of 12 States (reports submitted in 2007-09) and through Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) (reports submitted in 2010-11) in respect of 14 States. These evaluation studies have revealed certain shortcomings/deficiencies in the functioning of TPDS, such as inclusion/exclusion errors, leakages/diversion of foodgrains, etc. The reports received have been sent to the concerned States/UTs for taking necessary remedial measures to remove the deficiencies noticed in the functioning of TPDS.

Strengthening and streamlining of TPDS is a continuous process. To improve functioning of TPDS, Government has been regularly requesting State/UT Governments for continuous review of lists of Below Poverty Line (BPL) and Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) families, ensuring timely availability of foodgrains at Fair Price Shops (FPSs), ensuring greater transparency in functioning of TPDS, improved monitoring and vigilance at various levels and introduction of new technologies such as Computerization of TPDS operations at various levels.