MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF PLANNING (SHRI M.V.RAJASEKHARAN )
(a) : The main findings contained in the Report on Performance Evaluation of Targeted
Public Distribution System (TPDS) prepared by the Programme Evaluation Organisation
(PEO) of the Planning Commission are the following:
(i) The implementation of TPDS is adversely affected by targeting errors, prevalence of
ghost cards and unidentified households;
(ii) Though the off-take per household has shown some improvement under TPDS, yet
only about 57% of the BPL households are covered by it;
(iii) The Fair Price Shops are generally not viable because of low annual turnover and they
remain in business through leakages and diversions of subsidized grains;
(iv) Leakages and diversions of subsidized grains are large and only about 42% of
subsidized grains issued from the Central Pool reaches the target group; and
(v) The cost of income transfer to the poor through PDS is much higher than that
through other modes.
(b) : The main recommendations of the Report of PEO on TPDS are the following:-
(i) The performance of TPDS can be improved if some corrective measures are taken to
reduce delivery cost, bring in transparency in the delivery mechanism and make the
operation of retail outlets financially viable;
(ii) To minimize leakages at Fair Price Shops (FPS) level and ensure their transparent
operation, these retail outlets must be made financially viable.
(iii) The Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) must be empowered to inspect the
accounts/transaction records of FPSs and satisfy themselves about transparent
functioning of FPSs.
(iv) There is a need for bringing down the economic cost of food grains distributed
under TPDS through rationalization of cost structure of handling foodgrains
through public agencies.
(c )& (d):The main responsibility for prevention of diversion of pilferage of foodgrains vests
with the concerned State Governments and UT Administrations, since matters relating to
allocation of foodgrains within the State/UT, issue of ration cards and supervision of the
functioning of Fair Price Shops come within their purview. As far as taking action against
officials indulging in pilferage and diversion of foodgrains, any such case brought to the
notice of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution is forwarded by that
Ministry to the concerned State Governments for taking suitable action against the concerned
officials under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955. In order to make implementation of
TPDS more transparent, a revised Citizensâ Charter has been issued recently by Ministry of
Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution for adoption and implementation by the
State/UT Governments for facilitating use by the citizens of the provisions of the Right to
Information Act in relation to functioning of TPDS.
(e)& (f): Finance Minister in the Budget Speech 2008-09 has, inter-alia, stated that a
sum of Rs.32,667 crore is being provided next year for food subsidy under the Public
Distribution System (PDS) and other welfare programmes. Besides, he stated that
strengthening the PDS would mean adequate supplies, reasonable subsidies and efficient
delivery of the subsidized food.