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New Delhi : A report had recently appeared in the media titled “Bought in Andhra at Rs. 10, sold in Malaysia at Rs. 123” alleging diversion of the PDS foodgrains in Andhra Pradesh. After inquiry, the Government of Andhra Pradesh has informed that they have seized 435.80 MTs of Rice worth of Rs 1,08,95,000 and has taken all preventive measures and necessary action against the culprits.

To bring transparency and efficiency in the functioning of the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), this Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Ministry, in association with all States/UTs had implemented a scheme on ‘End-to-End Computerisation of TPDS Operations’, which inter-alia comprised digitisation of ration cards/ beneficiaries’ data, installation of electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) devices at all Fair Price Shops (FPSs), etc. for transparent distribution of foodgrains to all beneficiaries under National Food Security Act (NFSA).

As part of these activities, 100% digitisation of NFSA ration cards has been achieved in all States/UTs, Aadhaar seeding of almost 91% ration cards at the national level has been achieved so far (100% in Andhra Pradesh). Besides, almost 92% of total 5.4 Lakh FPSs in the country are distributing foodgrains through ePoS devices.  At the national level, more than 70% of the monthly allocated foodgrains to States/UTs are being distributed to NFSA beneficiaries after their biometric authentication on ePoS devices.

Further, NFSA provides for implementation of a two-tier grievance redressal mechanism in all States/UTs, including Andhra Pradesh, i.e. District Grievance Redressal Officers (DGRO) and independent State Food Commissions (SFC) along with setting up of 4 level Vigilance Committees at State, districts, blocks and FPSs levels,  for the monitoring and grievance redressal, transparency, and accountability in TPDS operations.

This information was given in a written reply by the Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Danve Raosaheb Dadarao in Lok Sabha on February 2, 2021, according to a PIB release.