Strengthening and streamlining of Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) is a continuous endeavour. To improve functioning of TPDS, Government has been regularly issuing advisories and holding meetings, conferences, etc. wherein State/UT Governments are requested for review of lists of beneficaries, improving the offtake of allocated foodgrains, ensuring timely availability of foodgrains at Fair Price Shops (FPSs), greater transparency in functioning of TPDS, improved monitoring and vigilance at various levels, improving the viability of FPS operations, etc. This information was given by the Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Raosaheb Patil Danve
The Minister said that the National Food Security Act, 2013, notified on 10.09.2013, also contains measures for reforms in TPDS, to be undertaken progressively by the Central and State/UT Governments. These reforms inter alia include door-step delivery of foodgrains at the FPS, application of information and communication technology tools including end to end computerisation, preference to public institutions/bodies in licensing of FPSs, etc.
He said that Public Distribution System (Control) Order, 2001 notified by the Government mandates the State and UT Governments to carry out all required action to ensure smooth functioning of TPDS. PDS (Control) Order, 2001 also empowers State/UT Governments to take punitive action under clauses 8 & 9 in case of contravention of relevant provisions of the Order. If any person contravenes any provisions of this Order under clauses 3,4,6 and 7, he shall be liable to punishment under Section 7 of the Essential Commodities Act. Action in cases of blackmarketing of foodgrains is also taken by States/UTs under the Prevention of Black Marketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980.
He added as per information received from the States/UTs, 124 detentions have been made in 2014 (upto 30.11.2014) in the cases of blackmarketing of essential commodities. State of Tamil Nadu has made 107 detentions while State of Gujarat has made 17.