Public Distribution System (PDS) – Provision of Free Ration to the Poor
The Public Distribution System (PDS) can be described as an Indian Food Security System established under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution. PDS began as a way for managing scarcity through the distribution of grains for food at reasonable costs through Ration Card. PDS is managed under the joint oversight of the Central and State Governments. It is the Central Government, through Food Corporation of India (FCI) is responsible for the procurement storage, transportation, and the bulk distribution of food grains to State Governments. The operational responsibilities for allocations within the State and identification of families that are eligible and the issues of Ration Cards and oversight of the operations of Fair Price Shops (FPSs) and so on. These responsibilities rest with States Governments.
Under the PDS currently, the main commodities , including rice, wheat as well as sugar and kerosene are distributed to States/UTs to distribute. Certain States/UTs also distribute other products of mass consumption through the PDS outlets, such as the pulses and edible oils Iodized salt, spices and so on.
Functioning – Fair Price Shops, FCI, Ration Cards
- PDS is managed under the joint oversight that is shared by both the Central and State/UT governments.
- Central government officials are accountable for supplying the food grains required to support PDS PDS via the Food Corporation of India and also providing an amount of subsidy to make it more affordable.
- The state governments are accountable to ensure that the beneficiaries have access get access to commodities that are sold under the PDS as well as co-coordinating the entire supply chain starting with FCI downs and distribution to those who need it, and monitoring PDS
- Fair-price shops (FPSs) functioning under the PDS are important nodes because beneficiaries buy subsidised PDS products through the FPS.
- The procedure for granting licences to FPSs as well as monitoring their compliance via the vigilance committees as well as other officials of the government are described within the PDS Control Order 2001 (GOI 2001),issued by the Department of Food and Public Distribution, Government of India.
- The FCI buys food grains from farmers for an amount equal to the minimal support prices (MSP) and issues food grains at an uniform central issue rate (CIP) to every state.
- The CIP is less than the cost of economics that the central government incurs to buy food
- The primary components of the economic costs are payments to growers, as well as costs for transportation, handling, storage and distributing the grain along with the cost of maintaining the buffer stock that is prescribed.
- The distinction between the economic cost in comparison to that of the CIP will be the subsidy for food paid through the government in its non-Plan budget for the year.
- The state sets consumer prices (CEP) on the basis of the FPS rate of not higher than Re.0.50 per kilogram above what is the Central Issue Price (CIP) in particular for those who live that is below the poverty line.
- The states also have the option to increase the coverage of BPL. BPL category and pay the cost of subsidy through their own sources.
- The responsibility for operation, which includes allocation within the State and identification of eligible families as well as the issues of यूपी राशन कार्ड आवेदन and oversight of the operations of Fair Price Shops (FPSs) etc. The rest of the responsibility lies with The State Governments.
- Under the PDS currently, the commodities of wheat, sugar, rice and kerosene are assigned to states/UTs to be distributed.
- A few states/UTs also provide other items for large-scale consumption through PDS outlets like the pulses and edible oils Iodized salt, spices and so on.
Objectives and Significance of PDS
- Protecting the poor group by ensuring the availability with certain minimum quantities of food grains at a reasonable cost.
- In control of the price in Essential Commodities in the open market.
- to have a moderate influence on the market prices of cereals, their distribution of which makes up the largest portion of the surplus that is marketable
- Socialisation to try and solve the area of distribution of the essential products.
Importance of PDS System
- PDS ensures the Food and Nutritional Security for the entire nation by making food available, affordable and affordable to the most deprived of the most.
- PDS helps maintain an adequate buffer of food grains, which ensures that the flow of food remains active even in times of crises.
- It has also helped in the distribution of food items from regions that are surplus to the country to regions that are deficient.
- The minimum support system for prices and purchases has led to the growth in the production of food grains.
Evolution of PDS in India
- PDS was first introduced during World War II as a time-based rationing strategy. Prior to the 1960s distribution via PDS was mostly dependent on imports of food grains.
- The FCI was extended in the 1960s to respond to the shortage of food at the time. In the following years, the government established the Agriculture Prices Commission and the FCI to increase domestic purchasing and the storage of grain to be used for PDS.
- In the 1970s, PDS was evolving into a system that was universally used for distribution of subsidised food items.
- Up until 1992, PDS was a general entitlement scheme that was available to all consumers, without a particular goal.
- The Revamped Public Distribution System (RPDS) was established in June of 1992 with an aim to improve and improve the efficiency of the PDS and to increase its reach in the remote hills, remote, and inaccessible areas where significant portion of the most disadvantaged classes reside.
- In June 1997 in June 1997, the Government of India launched the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) with a focus on the most disadvantaged.
- Under TPDS the beneficiaries were divided in two groups: Households that were below the poverty line, or BPL; and households over the poverty level, also known as APL.
Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY)
AAY was an initial step towards creating TPDS focus on reducing hunger in the most deprived segments in people in the BPL population. An National Sample Survey exercise pointed at the fact that approximately 5percent of the people in the country are sleeping with only two meals per day. To improve the quality of TPDS more specific and targeted toward this group of people The “Antyodaya Anna Yojana” (AAY) was announced in December 2000 to help one crore of the poorest of poorest families.
The month of September 2013 was the time that the Parliament adopted legislation known as the National Food Security Act, 2013. The Act draws heavily on the TPDS that is in place to provide foodstuffs as legal rights for the poorest households. The Act marks a change by giving the right of food access a legally valid right.
PDS System Functions?
- The State and Central Governments have a common responsibility to supply food grains to recipients.
- The center purchases the food grains from farmers at the minimum support price (MSP) and then sells the grains in states for central price. It is also responsible for transporting the grains to godowns within every state.
- States bear the burden of transporting food grains from these godowns into every market at fair prices (ration shop) where the buyer purchases food grains at a price that is lower than the prices of the issue. A lot of states also subsidize the cost of food grains prior to selling them to people who need it.
Importance of PDS
- It aids in making sure that there is Food and Nutritional Security of the entire nation.
- It has assisted in stabilizing prices for food and has made food accessible to the needy at affordable costs.
- It keeps the buffer grain stock of food grains within the warehouse to ensure to ensure it can ensure that the flow of food is maintained throughout the time of lower agricultural production of food.
- It has assisted in the the distribution of grain through the supply of food items from regions that are surplus to the country to areas that are deficient.
- The minimum support system for prices and purchases has led to an increase in the amount of the production of food grain.