Public Distribution System

Public Distribution System

A system for distributing food at reasonable prices and managing emergencies, the Public Distribution System (PDS) is an Indian food security system.

Public Distribution System

A system for distributing food at reasonable prices and managing emergencies, the Public Distribution System (PDS) is an Indian food security system. It distributes subsidized food and non-food items to India's poor. In June 1947, this plan was introduced. PDS has grown in importance as a component of the government's strategy for managing the nation's food economy. The PDS is supplemental and does not meet a household's or a particular group of people in the community's entire need for any goods distributed under it.

By assisting the poorest of the poor, BPL citizens, women, and children, PDS has helped to achieve socio economic justice by reducing hunger, malnutrition, and anemia. The efficiency of PDS will be further improved by using ICT to decrease touchpoints.

Introduction of Public distribution system.

  • PDS was first developed during World War II. Prior to 1960, imports of food grains were necessary for distribution through PDS.
  • In order to address food shortages and handle distribution, the Public Distribution System was expanded in the 1960s.
  • The Indian government also established the Food Corporation of India and the Commission of Agricultural Costs and Prices to enhance domestic food grain procurement and storage.
  • PDS developed into an all-encompassing plan for food distribution in the 1970s.

What purpose does PDS serve?

PDS has several advantages.

  • It supports preserving the country's food security.
  • It ensures that food is accessible to the poor at reasonable prices.
  • Preserves a buffer stock of food grains that will be useful during the slow season for crop production.

PDS – Recent News

  • Particularly in the States that served as the foundation for the original Green Revolution—Punjab, Haryana, and western Uttar Pradesh—the protests against the Farm Bills have primarily been a problem for farmers. At a time when India ranks 94 out of 107 countries in the Global Hunger Index, there have been reports of concerns that this may have an impact on the procurement system and may even affect the availability of food grains in the public distribution system.
  • According to recent reports, at least 3000 consumers in Tripura's Dhalai district are experiencing difficulties because the Public Distribution System (PDS) has yet to reach the remote bordering areas of Raisyabari.
  • According to recent media reports on the public distribution system (PDS), the Covid-19 pandemic appears to have exposed serious irregularities in the Cuttack district PDS because 6,726 suspected "ghost" beneficiaries were not using their rations and lockdown assistance. 

The PDS's objectives

  • Ensuring the availability of a minimum amount of food grains at a reasonable price protects low-income groups.
  • Guaranteeing fair distribution.
  • Limiting the increase in the market price of essential commodities.
  • Being able to moderate the price of cereals on the open market, as their distribution accounts for a sizable portion of the total marketable surplus.
  • To make an effort to socialize the issue of good essential distribution.

Purpose of PDS

  • Priced lower than food grains sold in private stores, food grains are provided to the underprivileged.
  • Farmers are paid more for their food grains because they are bought directly from them.
  • Make products accessible to consumers at reasonable costs, particularly the weaker and disadvantaged segments of society.
  • Adjust the supply and demand for consumer goods currently out of balance. Check for and thwart black marketing and hoarding of necessities.
  • Make sure that the distribution of essentials for life reflects social justice. 
  • Equalize changes in the costs and availability of consumer goods.
  • Encourage rural employment programs (SGRY/SGSY/IRDP/Midday Meals, ICDS, DWCRA, SHGs, and Food for Work), as well as educational feeding programs, to help reduce poverty.

PDS's importance

  • By making food affordable, accessible, and available to the poorest of the poor, PDS ensures the food and nutritional security of the country.
  • In order to ensure that the flow of food continues even during times of crisis, PDS helps to maintain a buffer stock of food grains.
  • Distributing food from the nation's surplus regions to its food-deficient regions has aided in the redistribution of grains.
  • The minimum support price and procurement system have facilitated the increase in food grain production.
  • Price stability for food is aided by it.

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