Survey finds monitoring of PDS ineffective

Survey finds monitoring of PDS ineffective

Observing that the monitoring mechanism of public distribution system was ineffective, a Public Affairs Centre (PAC) survey has called for an awareness campaign in this regard.

 Stating that only 10 per cent of vigilance committees surveyed were functioning properly, the report —Public Distribution System in Karnataka: A study on the Effectiveness of the Existing Monitoring Mechanisms – noted that about 40 per cent of committee members do not even know that they are on the panel. The government-sponsored survey covered 159 PDS shops located in 30 taluks in 15 districts. 

The PAC met 5,565 customers, 795 shop-level vigilance committee members, 795 gram panchayat-level vigilance committee members and 30 food inspectors. The report, released by Food and Civil Supplies Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao, found that awareness among consumers was very poor. 

Only about 7 per cent were aware that a monitoring system existed. About 79 per cent shops displayed information board. 

Of them, only 49 per cent had consumer helpline number, 9 per cent had contact details of food inspector. 

Briefing reporters, Gundu Rao said the findings would help the department to set right lapses in the system. It will be made manditory for food inspectors to submit inspection reports. Inspections should be conducted in places identified by the department, he added.

The department has decided to discontinue the practice of giving fresh licences to run fair price shops to private individuals. Instead, licences would be given either to primary agriculture co-operative societies or Karnataka Food and Civil Supplies Corporation. The move is aimed at preventing misuse of subsidised foodgrains under PDS, he added.