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Indian Economy / Social Development Programs

Public Distribution System in India

The Public Distribution System (PDS) was implemented for distribution of food grains to the needy at affordable prices through the network of Fair Price Shops. But due to corruption, PDS could not accomplish its desired objectives.

Targeted Public Distribution System

  • In order to get rid of the loopholes of PDS, the Government of India started introducing the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) in June, 1997 so as to target the needy. States were asked for foolproof mechanism for identifying the poor in order to deliver the food grains.

  • TPDS is a two-tiered subsidized system for the Below Poverty Line (BPL) and the Above Poverty Line (APL) families.

    For BPL families, food grains will be provided at half the economic cost and for APL families at full economic costs. Each family would get 25kgs of food grains each month.

Antyodaya Anna Yojana

  • Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY), which was introduced in December 2000, is a scheme under which 1 crore of poorest of the poor BPL families will be supplied with 25kgs of food grains at an extremely subsidized rate of Rs. 3 per kilogram for rice and Rs. 2 per kilogram for wheat.

  • Over a period, the number of families were increased to 2 crores and the quantity of food grains were increased from 25kgs to 35kgs.

National Food Security Act, 2013

  • After the passage of National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA 2013), all the existing food security programmes of the Government of India got legal sanctity.

    It included Integrated Child Development Services scheme, the Midday Meal Scheme and the Public Distribution System in addition to maternity entitlements.

  • Under NFSA 2013, the Public Distribution System will reach to about two-third population of India which includes 75% rural population and 50% urban population.

    Under the provisions of the NFSA 2013, beneficiaries of the PDS are given 5kgs of food grains for each person per month. Under this Act, Rice will be given at a price of Rs. 3 per kg, Wheat at Rs. 2 per kg and the Coarse cereals (millets) at Re. 1 per kg.

  • Since Antyodaya Anna Yojana families comprise poorest of the poor and who were entitled to 35 kg per month per household, they were continued at 35 kg per month per household.