B. EVOLUTION OF PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM
C. REVAMPED PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM (RPDS)
D. TARGETED PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM (TPDS)
E. IDENTIFICATION OF BPL FAMILIES UNDER TPDS
F. ANTYODAYA ANNA YOJANA (AAY)
G. SCALE OF ISSUE OF FOOD-GRAINS UNDER TPDS
H. CENTRAL ISSUE PRICE (CIP)
I. ACHIEVEMENTS OF TPDS
J. STREAMLINING OF TPDS
K. MEASURES TAKEN TO STRENGTHEN TPDS.
1. The Public Distribution System (PDS) evolved as a system of management of scarcity and for distribution of food grains at affordable prices. Over the years, PDS has become an important part of Government’s policy for management of food economy in the country. PDS is supplemental in nature and is not intended to make available the entire requirement of any of the commodities distributed under it to a household or a section of the society.
2. PDS is operated under the joint responsibility of the Central and the State Governments. The Central Government, through FCI, has assumed the responsibility for procurement, storage, transportation and bulk allocation of food grains to the State Governments. The operational responsibility including allocation within State, identification of families below the poverty line, issue of Ration Cards and supervision of the functioning of FPS, rest with the State Governments. Under the PDS, presently the commodities namely wheat, rice, sugar and kerosene are being allocated to the States/UTs for distribution. Some States/UTs also distribute additional items of mass consumption through the PDS outlets such as pulses, edible oils, iodized salt, spices, etc.
EVOLUTION OF PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM.
1. Public Distribution of essential commodities had been in existence in India during the inter-war period. PDS, with its focus on distribution of food grains in urban scarcity areas, had emanated from the critical food shortages of 1960. PDS had substantially contributed to the containment of rise in food grains prices and ensured access of food to urban consumers. As the national agricultural production had grown in the aftermath of Green Revolution, the outreach of PDS was extended to tribal blocks and areas of high incidence of poverty in the 1970s and 1980s.
2. PDS, till 1992, was a general entitlement scheme for all consumers without any specific target. Revamped Public Distribution System (RPDS) was launched in June 1992 in 1775 blocks throughout the country.
3. The Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) was introduced with effect from June, 1997.
3. REVAMPED PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM (RPDS)
1. The Revamped Public Distribution System (RPDS) was launched in June, 1992 with a view to strengthen and streamline the PDS as well as to improve its reach in the far-flung, hilly, remote and inaccessible areas where a substantial section of the poor live. It covered 1775 blocks wherein area specific programmes such as the Drought Prone Area Programme (DPAP), Integrated Tribal Development Projects (ITDP), Desert Development Programme (DDP) and certain Designated Hill Areas (DHA) identified in consultation with State Governments for special focus, with respect to improvement of the PDS infrastructure. Food grains for distribution in RPDS areas were issued to the States at 50 paise below the Central Issue Price. The scale of issue was upto 20 kg per card.
2. The RPDS included area approach for ensuring effective reach of the PDS commodities, their delivery by State Governments at the doorstep of FPSs in the identified areas, additional ration cards to the left out families, infrastructure requirements like additional Fair Price Shops, storage capacity, etc. and additional commodities such as tea, salt, pulses, soap, etc. for distribution through PDS outlets.
4. TARGETED PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM (TPDS)
1. In June 1997, the Government of India launched the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) with focus on the poor. Under the TPDS, States are required to formulate and implement foolproof arrangements for identification of the poor for delivery of food grains and for its distribution in a transparent and accountable manner at the FPS level.
2. The scheme when introduced, was intended to benefit about 6 crore poor families for whom a quantity of about 72 lakh tonnes of food grains was earmarked annually. The identification of the poor under the scheme is done by the States as per State-wise poverty estimates of the Planning Commission for 1993-94 based on the methodology of the “Expert Group on estimation of proportion and number of poor” chaired by Late Prof Lakdawala. The allocation of food grains to the States/UTs was made on the basis of average consumption in the past i.e. average annual off-take of food grains under the PDS during the past ten years at the time of introduction of TPDS.
3. The quantum of food grains in excess of the requirement of BPL families was provided to the State as ‘transitory allocation’ for which a quantum of 103 lakh tonnes of foodgrains was earmarked annually. Over and above the TPDS allocation, additional allocation to States was also given. The transitory allocation was intended for continuation of benefit of subsidized food grains to the population Above the Poverty Line (APL) as any sudden withdrawal of benefits existing under PDS from them was not considered desirable. The transitory allocation was issued at prices, which were subsidized but were higher than the prices for the BPL quota of foodgrains.
4. Keeping in view the consensus on increasing the allocation of food grains to BPL families, and to better target the food subsidy, Government of India increased the allocation to BPL families from 10 kg. to 20 kg of food grains per family per month at 50% of the economic cost and allocation to APL families at economic cost w.e.f. 1.4.2000. The allocation of APL families was retained at the same level as at the time of introduction of TPDS but the Central Issue Prices (CIP) for APL were fixed at 100% of economic cost from that date so that the entire consumer subsidy could be directed to the benefit of the BPL population. However, the CIPs fixed in July and December, 2000 for BPL & AAY respectively and in July, 2002 for APL, have not been revised since then even though procurement costs have gone up considerably.
5. The number of BPL families has been increased w.e.f. 1.12.2000 by shifting the base to the population projections of the Registrar General as on 1.3.2000 instead of the earlier population projections of 1995. With this increase the total number of BPL families is 652.03 lakh as against 596.23 lakh families originally estimated when TPDS was introduced in June, 1997.
6. The end retail price is fixed by the States/UTs after taking into account margins for wholesalers/retailers, transportations charges, levies, local taxes etc. Under the TPDS, the States were requested to issue food-grains at a difference of not more than 50 paise per kg over and above the CIP for BPL families. Flexibility to States/UTs. has been given in the matter of fixing the retail issue prices by removing the restriction of 50 paise per kg over and above the CIP for distribution of food grains under TPDS except with respect to Antyodaya Anna Yojana where the end retail price is to be retained at Rs.2/ a kg. for wheat and Rs.3/ a kg. for rice.
5. IDENTIFICATION OF BPL FAMILIES UNDER TPDS
1. To work out the population below the poverty line under the TPDS, there was a general consensus at the Food Minister’s conference held in August 1996, for adopting the methodology used by the expert group set up by the Planning Commission under the Chairmanship of Late Prof. Lakadawala. The BPL households were determined on the basis of population projections of the Registrar General of India for 1995 and the State wise poverty estimates of the Planning Commission for 1993-94. The total number of BPL households so determined was 596.23 lakh. Guidelines for implementing the TPDS were issued in which the State Governments had been advised to identify the BPL families by involving the Gram Panchayats and Nagar Palikas. While doing do the thrust should be to include the really poor and vulnerable sections of the society such as landless agricultural labourers, marginal farmers, rural artisans/craftsmen such as potters, tappers, weavers, black-smiths, carpenters, etc. in the rural areas and slum dwellers and persons earning their livelihood on daily basis in the informal sector like potters, rickshaw-pullers, cart- pullers, fruit and flower sellers on the pavement etc. in urban areas. The Gram Panchayats and Gram-Sabhas should also be involved in the identification of eligible families.
2. The number of BPL families has been increased w.e.f. 1.12.2000 by shifting the base to the population projections of the Registrar General of India as on 1.3.2000 instead of the earlier population projections of 1995. With this increase the total number of BPL families in the country is 652.03 lakh as against 596.23 lakh families originally estimated when TPDS was introduced in June, 1997.
6. ANTYODAYA ANNA YOJANA (AAY)
1. AAY is a step in the direction of making TPDS aim at reducing hunger among the poorest segments of the BPL population. A National Sample Survey Exercise points towards the fact that about 5% of the total population in the country sleeps without two square meals a day. This section of the population can be called as “hungry”. In order to make TPDS more focused and targeted towards this category of population, the “Antyodaya Anna Yojana” (AAY) was launched in December, 2000 for one crore poorest of the poor families.
2. AAY contemplates identification of one crore poorest of the poor families from amongst the number of BPL families covered under TPDS within the States and providing them food grains at a highly subsidized rate of Rs.2/- per kg. for wheat and Rs.3/ per kg. for rice. The States/UTs are required to bear the distribution cost, including margin to dealers and retailers as well as the transportation cost. Thus the entire food subsidy is being passed on to the consumers under the scheme.
3. The scale of issue that was initially 25 kg per family per month has been increased to 35 kg per family per month with effect from 1st April 2002.
7. FIRST EXPANSION OF AAY
1. The AAY Scheme has been expanded in 2003-2004 by adding another 50 lakh BPL households headed by widows or terminally ill persons or disabled persons or persons aged 60 years or more with no assured means of subsistence or societal support. With this increase, 1.5 crore (i.e. 23% of BPL) families have been covered under the AAY.
8. SECOND EXPANSION OF AAY
1. As announced in the Union Budget 2004-05, the AAY has been further expanded by another 50 lakh BPL families by including, inter alia, all households at the risk of hunger. Orders to this effect have been issued on 3rd August 2004. In order to identify these households, the guidelines stipulate the following criteria.
2. Landless agriculture labourers, marginal farmers, rural artisans/craftsmen, such as potters, tanners, weavers, blacksmiths, carpenters, slum dwellers, and persons earning their livelihood on daily basis in the informal sector like porters, coolies, rickshaw pullers, hand cart pullers, fruit and flower sellers, snake charmers, rag pickers, cobblers, destitutes and other similar categories irrespective of rural or urban areas.
3. Households headed by widows or terminally ill persons/disabled persons/persons aged 60 years or more with no assured means of subsistence or societal support.
4. Widows or terminally ill persons or disabled persons or persons aged 60 years or more or single women or single men with no family or societal support or assured means of subsistence.
5. All primitive tribal households.
With this increase, the number of AAY families has been increased to 2 crore (i.e. 30.66% of BPL families).
9. THIRD EXPANSION OF AAY
1. As announced in the Union Budget 2005-06, the AAY has further been expanded to cover another 50 lakh BPL households thus increasing its overage to 2.5 crore households. (i.e. 38% of BPL).
2. As on 31.08.2011, 243.871 lakh AAY families have been covered by the States/UTs under this scheme. The State-wise estimated number of AAY families and the families identified and ration cards issued under AAY by the State Goverments/UTs are given in the Annexure
10. IDENTIFICATION OF ANTYODAYA FAMILIES AND ALLOCATION OF FOODGRAINS
The identification of the Antyodaya families and issuing of distinctive Ration Cards to these families is the responsibility of the concerned State Governments. Detailed guidelines were issued to the States/UTs for identification of the Antyodaya families under the AAY and additional Antyodaya families under the expanded AAY. Allocation of food grains under the scheme is being released to the States/UTs on the basis of issue of distinctive AAY Ration Cards to the identified Antyodaya families. The present monthly allocation of food grains under AAY is around 8.53 lakh tons per month.
11. SCALE OF ISSUE OF FOOD GRAINS UNDER TPDS.
Since 1997 the scale of issue of the BPL families has been gradually increased from 10 kg. to 35 kg. per family per month. The scale of issue to BPL families was increased from 10 kg. to 20 kg per family per month with effect from 1.4.2000. The allocation of food grains for the BPL families was further increased from 20 kg. to 25 kg. per family per month with effect from July, 2001. Initially, the Antyodaya families were provided 25 kg. of food grains per family per month at the time of launching of the scheme in December, 2000. The scale of issue of foodgrains under APL, BPL and AAY has been revised to 35 kg per family per month with effect from 1.4.2002 with a view to enhancing the food security at the household level.
12. CENTRAL ISSUE PRICE (CIP)
The present Central issue Price (CIP) of food grains being supplied under TPDS is as under:-
(Figure in Rs. per kg.)
Commodity APL BPL AAY
Rice 8.30 5.65 3.00
Wheat 6.10 4.15 2.00
13. ACHIEVEMENTS OF TPDS
· After June 1997, PDS has now become pro-poor.
· The urban bias has been completely eliminated as a larger proportion of BPL families are living in rural areas.
· Though PDS is supplemental in nature, but now the enhanced allocation of food grains fulfils around 50% of the monthly cereal requirement of an average BPL household.
· In accordance with the commitment of the Government to create a hunger free India and to reform the PDS so as to serve the poorest of the poor, the AAY scheme was launched in December, 2000. The CIP for AAY category was kept lowest i.e. Rs.2/- a kg. for wheat and Rs.3/- a kg for rice. The number of AAY households have been increased to 2.5 crores.
The CIP of food grains for BPL families has not been revised since 25.07.2000 and that for AAY since Dec., 2000.
14. MEASURES TAKEN TO STRENGTHEN TPDS
A revised Citizens` Charter has been issued in July, 2007 for adoption and implementation by the State/UT Governments for facilitating its use by citizens as per provisions of Right to Information Act, 2005, in relation to functioning of the TPDS.
PDS ( Control) Order, 2001
In order to maintain supplies and securing availability and distribution of essential commodities, Public Distribution System (Control) Order, 2001 has been notified on August 31, 2001. The Order mainly contains provisions with regard to the following issues:-
i. Identification of families below the poverty line;
ii. Ration cards;
iii. Scale and issue price;
iv. Distribution of foodgrains;
The Order requires all State Governments/UTs to ensure that the BPL and Antyodaya families identified are really the poorest of the poor. It also requires the State Governments/UTs to get the lists of BPL and Antyodaya families reviewed every year for the purpose of deletion of ineligible families and inclusion of eligible families. It further devolves on the State Governments/UTs to conduct periodical checking of ration cards to weed out ineligible and bogus ration cards. The State Governments/UTs are also to ensure issue of Utilization Certificates confirming that the foodgrains have been lifted and distributed to the intended beneficiaries under the TPDS. An offence committed in violation of the provisions of this Order shall invoke criminal liability under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955
Area Officers’ Scheme
The Area Officers` Scheme was launched on 21st February 2000 in the Department of Food and Public Distribution with the objective to provide a mechanism to coordinate with the State Governments and UT Administrations for regular and effective review and monitoring of the Targeted Public Distribution System in the States/UTs. Officers of the rank of Deputy Secretary, Director and equivalent are nominated as Area Officers for different States/UTs from time to time. The broad features of the Scheme are as under:-
i. The Area Officer is required to visit two districts of their allotted territories once in a quarter and review the functioning of TPDS as per the instructions/guidelines and a set of questionnaire;
ii They are also required to submit their visit report within 10 days, clearly bringing out important issues, findings along with recommendations on actionable points;
iii The report of the Area Officers are sent to the Food Secretaries of the concerned States/UTs for taking remedial action towards smooth functioning of TPDS.
A meeting of all State and UT Food Secretaries was held under the Chairmanship of Union Food Secretary at Hyderabad on 8.2.2008 to discuss the measures for reforming PDS. The minutes of said meeting were sent to all concerned for taking necessary action thereon.
Plan Schemes for Strengthening of PDS.
i. Training, Research and Monitoring
This Scheme aims at strengthening and upgrading the skills of personnel engaged in the functioning and implementation of TPDS by conducting training programmes and organizing lectures, seminars and workshops on policy issues with regard to PDS and related fields for functionaries of various levels in the State Food and Civil Supplies Department and State Agencies like State Civil Supplies Corporations, Consumer Co-operatives, etc. To make TPDS more effective & efficient, training is also provided to FPS owners, members of PRIs, village/city vigilance Committees and FCI Officials. Under the Scheme Central Government provides financial assistance @ Rs.500/- per trainee per day. Maximum assistance per training programme would be Rs.50,000/- and the maximum duration of the training programmes may be five working days. In addition to the above, Scheme includes conducting research studies on various aspects of TPDS.
This scheme commenced from the 6th five Year Plan and still continues. Initially, this scheme was known as Training¸ Research and Monitoring Scheme. During 11th Five Year Plan, this scheme has been bifurcated into two components (a) PDS – Training (b) PDS - Evaluation, Monitoring and Research.
The expenditure made under the Scheme (a) PDS – Training (b) PDS - Evaluation, Monitoring and Research during 2007-08 and 2008-09 are as under:-
(Rs. in lakh)
Name of the scheme Financial Year BE/RE Expenditure
PDS – Training 2007-08 50.00 72.00
-do- 2008-09 50.00 70.73
PDS-Evaluation ,Monitoring 2007-08 50.00 41.41
-do- 2008-09 50.00 26.99
The budgetary provision for the financial Year 2011-12 proposed at RE stage is Rs.9.103 lakh for Training and Rs.29.83512 lakh for Evaluation, Monitoring & Research components.
ii. Innovative Scheme for curbing leakages/diversion of food grains meant for TPDS Scheme: In order to curb leakages/diversion of food grains meant for TPDS, government has taken up piloting of innovative/new technologies such as Global Positioning System from the 11th five year plan. This System will be useful for tracking the movement of vehicles carrying PDS foodgrains. By introduction of the above vehicle tracking system, it is expected that diversion of foodgrains meant for the TPDS will be minimised to a large extent.
The expenditure made under the Scheme during 2007-08 and 2008-09 is as under:-
(Rs. in lakh)
Financial Year BE/RE Expenditure
2007-08 100.00 44.76
2008-09 200/Nil Nil
The budgetary provision under this scheme for the year 2011-12 proposed ot RE stage is Rs. 1.11009 crore.