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Govt prod for PDS clarity

Bhubaneswar, Oct. 17: The state government today initiated a slew of measures, including providing online information to consumers, in order to make the public distribution system (PDS) more transparent and accountable.

A decision was taken at a high-level meeting, chaired by state chief secretary Ajit Tripathy, to computerise the PDS system to prevent bungling of foodgrain.

The chief secretary directed the officials of the state food supplies and consumer welfare department to feed the dealer-wise allocation list. He also asked officials to intimate all public representatives, including sarpanchs, corporators and local MLAs.

A pilot project has been taken up in Nowrangpur district for dissemination of information related to ration card holders list, details of dealers, block-wise and dealer-wise allocation through internet.

If the pilot project is successful, it will be extended to other districts, said officials.

Tripathy also directed the officials to distribute booklets in Oriya on the rights and duties of consumers and retail-level advisory committees.

District collectors were instructed to ensure that the foodgrain reaches fair-price shops on the first day of every month at fair prices.

At present, 3,628 out of 6,234 gram panchayats are operating fair-price shops while 6,689 self-help groups and 854 co-operative societies are running PDS outlets.

It was also decided that PDS materials would be distributed in inaccessible pockets through mobile vans.

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