Efforts to revamp PDS

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 3.03.11
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Jamshedpur, March 2: The state is planning to strengthen the public distribution system (PDS) here with some tips from Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh.

Food and civil supplies minister Mathura Prasad Mahto today said a team would soon be sent to the three states to study the functioning of PDS outlets so that certain important features could be incorporated in the state model.

“The team will study the functioning of PDS in Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh and offer suggestions and changes that ought to be implemented by Jharkhand. The move is aimed at strengthening the PDS model here,” Mahto said.

The minister was in the city today to review PDS in East Singhbhum. He was accompanied by Raj Bala Verma, principal secretary, food and civil supplies.

Mahto further informed that they had taken a decision to select only women self-help groups (SHGs) for running ration stores. Currently, there are 27,000 dealers. The food and civil supplies ministry intends to enlist the services of another 5,000.

According to Mahto, about 60 lakh people from across the state, including the 35 lakh under the Above Poverty Line category, will be able to collect pulses and salt besides other food items from PDS outlets from the next financial year.

“With the Jharkhand State Food Corporation coming into existence on February 1 this year, many bottlenecks concerning procurement and distribution of food to beneficiaries have been removed,” he said.

Replying to a query, Mahto said for the next fiscal beginning April, the ministry had submitted a budgetary proposal of Rs 760 crore, much more than that of last year. Justifying the need for an enhanced budgetary allocation, he said a revamp of PDS was on and the department needed adequate funds to implement schemes.