Rs.50 lakh sanctioned to appoint a consultant for studying the system

The State government has proposed to implement a total e-governance solution system in public distribution system (PDS), Food Minister E.V. Velu told the Assembly.

Initiating the debate on demands for grants to his department, Mr. Velu said Rs.50 lakh was sanctioned to appoint a consultant for studying the system and assisting the department to identify the appropriate agency to implement a total solution for the PDS.

The proposed system would include biometric capture (of data regarding PDS beneficiaries,) removal of duplication of entries in ration cards, issue of smart ration cards, implementation of on-line work flow software for all agencies involved in PDS and other technological solutions to curb diversion and improve delivery of service. Based on the consultant's preliminary report, steps had been initiated for the implementation of a total solution for the public distribution system.

He emphasised the need for the reforms of PDS by introducing a foolproof system that would enable elimination of bogus cards, prevention of bogus billing and prevent malpractices during the movement of commodities, adoption of appropriate technologies. This would include implementation of a work flow-based ration card management system, which would also make the procedure for obtaining new cards and carry out mutations simple and public-friendly.

The State government proposed to the Registrar General of Census, New Delhi, for jointly taking up the capture of biometrics proposed under the National Population Register (NPR) scheme. The exercise would be carried out as per the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) standards on completion of NPR Survey. The government also proposed to co-ordinate with UIDAI before issuing new cards. To enable this process, the validity period of the present family card was extended up to June 30, 2011.

As for the distribution of rice, the Minister said the current monthly sales of rice under the PDS including the quota for Antoydaya Anna Yojana (AAY) was about 3.17 lakh tonnes against the allotment of 2,96,453 tonnes. Over and above the Central allotment, the required quantity was being met from the Open Market Sales Scheme (OMSS) allotment by the Food Corporation of India and purchase from the government of Andhra Pradesh through the AP Civil Supplies Corporation. In view of the additional allotment of wheat made by the Union government, the quantity for distribution went up from 11,283 tonnes to 15,000 tonnes since this month.

On an average, 33,055 tonnes of sugar was sold to cardholders between April 2009 and February 2010.