Sample Material of Our IAS Mains GS Online Coaching Programme
Subject: General Studies (Paper 3 - Technology, Economic
Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)
Topic: Public Distribution System
PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM
CRITICISM OF THE PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM
• PDS means distribution of essential commodities to larger
section of the society, mostly vulnerable people, through a network of fair
Price Shops on a recurring basis. The essential commodities under PDS at present
are wheat, rice, sugar and Kerosene.
• Today, with the network of around 5 Lakh fair price shops PDS is virtually
world’s largest system of its kind. However, PDS was criticized for several
reasons. .A few of them are as follows:
• Its bias towards the urban consumers and inability to reach to the last
corner of the country.
• Some states such as Bihar and UP were virtually out of the PDS network.
• There are no criteria of monitoring the high income group purchases more
than low income purchases.
• The coverage and network of PDS does not ensure that the poorest or the
poor is benefited
• The PDS has been untargeted and proved to be regressive in some parts of
• Consumers get inferior food grains in ration shops. Because , the
dealers replace good supplies received from the F.C.I, with inferior stock,
• Issue of the bogus cards in large numbers which are used to procure the
grains from the PDS and sell them in open market.
• The dealers have little profit so indulge in malpractices.
• In other words, despite of having world’s largest Public Distribution
System, there are people dying in the country out of hunger.
Revamping the Public Distribution System PDS is operated
under the joint responsibility: of the Central and the State Governments. The
Central government, through FCI has following responsibilities:
• Procurement, storage, transportation of food grains
• Bulk allocation of food grains to the State Governments.
• The state government’s responsibility is operational. They are as follows:
• Identification of families below the poverty line
• Issue of Ration Cards
• Supervision of the functioning of FPS. The PDS commodities viz. wheat, rice,
sugar and kerosene, are allocated to the States/ UTs for distribution by the
Central Government. Cloth, exercise books, pulses, salt and tea, etc. are
distributed of the state governments.