This article relies on references to primary sources or sources affiliated with the subject, rather than references from independent authors and third-party publications. Please add citations from reliable sources. (March 2010)| Public Distribution System (PDS) is an Indian food security system. Established by the Government of India under Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution and managed jointly with state governments in India, it distributes subsidised food and non-food items to India's poor. Major commodities distributed include staple food grains, such as wheat, rice, sugar, and kerosene, through a network of Public distribution shops (PDS) established in several states across the country. Food Corporation of India, a Government-owned corporation, distributes food grains to poor people throughout the country, which are managed by state governments. As of date there are about 4.99 lakh Fair Price Shops (FPS) across India. In terms of both coverage and public expenditure, it is considered to be the most important food security network. However the food grains supplied by the ration shops are not enough to meet the consumption needs of the poor or are of inferior quality. The average level of consumption of PDS grains in India is only 1 kg per person / month. The PDS has been criticised for its urban bias and its failure to serve the poorer sections of the population effectively. The targeted PDS is costly and gives rise to much corruption in the process of extricating the poor from those who are less needy. * |
Both the central and state governments shared the responsibility of regulating the PDS. While the central government is responsible for procurement, storage, transportation, and bulk allocation of food grains, state governments hold the responsibility for distributing the same to the consumers through the established network of Fair Price Shops (FPSs). State governments are also responsible for operational responsibilities including allocation and identification of families below poverty line, issue of ration cards, supervision and monitoring the functioning of FPSs[clarification needed]. Under PDS scheme, each family below the poverty line is eligible for 35 kg of rice or wheat every month, while a household above the poverty line is entitled to 15 kg of foodgrain on a monthly basis.  Fallouts of P.D.S System
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1. Generally, the consumers get inferior food grains in ration shops. 2. Deceitful dealers replace good supplies received from the F.C.I (Food Corporation of India) with inferior stock. 3. Many retail shopkeepers have large number of bogus cards to sell food grains in the open market. 4. Many FPS dealers resort to malpractice since they acquire less salary. 5. Despite the PDS, India accounts for over 400 million poor and hungry people. Numerous malpractices make safe and nutritious food inaccessible and unaffordable to many poor. Several schemes have augmented the number of people aided by PDS, but the number is still extremely low. Poor supervision of FPS and lack of accountability have spurred a number of middlemen who consume a good proportion of the stock meant for the poor. There is also no clarity as to which families should be included in the BPL list and which excluded. This results in the genuinely poor being excluded whilst the ineligible get several cards. The stock assigned to a single family cannot be bought in instalments. This is one of the biggest barriers to the efficient functioning of PDS in India. Many BPL families are not able to acquire ration cards either because they are seasonal migrant workers or because they live in unauthorised colonies. A lot of families also mortgage their ration cards for money....