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Computerisation of targeted PDS fails to make headway

03 March 2015

The mission mode scheme of end-to-end computerisation of the targeted public distribution scheme (TPDS) has taken the slow lane, with just Rs257 crore of the Rs884 crore allocated to the scheme having been spent so far, according to the minister of state for consumer affairs, food and public distribution.

this was stated by minister of state for consumer affairs, food and public distribution Raosaheb Patil Danve in a written reply to the Lok Sabha today.

The scheme, being implemented by states with financial and technical assistance from the centre has so far been allocated an amount of Rs257.01 crore against the annual allocation of Rs884.07 crore in 2014-15, the minister noted.

And, of this, states and UTs, implementing agency National Informatics Centre (NIC) and consultancy services have together reported expenditure of Rs58 crore so far, the minister said.

The minister said that the government has declared the scheme as a mission mode project (MMP) with National Informatics Centre as the technical partner to provide technical support to states and UTs for faster computerisation.

Funds are released in installments, on the basis of receipt of proposals from the states and UTs, in accordance with the guidelines of the scheme, he added.

The key activities under the TPDS include digitisation of beneficiary database, computerisation of supply chain management, installation of grievance redressal mechanism and transparency portal. Expenditure under the scheme is to be shared between central and state governments.

The central government is sharing up to 90 per cent of TPDS computerisation in the case of North Eastern states and 50 per cent of the cost in the case of other states, the minister stated.

The scheme will enable the correct identification of beneficiaries, help remove bogus cards and better target food subsidies, ensure timely availability of foodgrains to intended beneficiaries at fair price shops (FPS) and check leakages and diversion of stocks, he said.

He said the scheme is already delayed and in view of the slow and uneven progress across the states / UTs, no fresh timelines have been prescribed. They are, however, being regularly pursued to ensure early completion of various activities under the scheme, he added.

Meanwhile, more than 24.2 million families have been brought under the highly subsidised foodgrains under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana, under which families are being provided with 35 kg of highly subsidised foodgrains per month through TPDS, the minister informed the House in another written reply.

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