Brainstorming On PDS Reforms In India

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Vijayawada: Important aspects of public distribution system
(PDS) reforms like seamless working of the online systems, strategy
for grievance redressal, enhancing the outreach of the system to the
deprived segments of the society, effective safeguards for non-denial
of entitled foodgrains to the beneficiaries and viability of fair
price shops were discussed at a two-day national conference here.

Representatives from 20 states along with those from NIC, WFP and GIZ actively participated in the conference, organised by the Union government’s department of food and public distribution, which concluded on Tuesday. The participating states shared their experiences and initiatives in these areas.

According to an official release,  the participants also visited the fair price shops, godowns and call centre to have first-hand exposures to the innovations like equipping ePoS devices with Best Finger Detection (BFD), Fusion Finger Detection (FFD) and IRIS features to minimize the instances of failure of bio-metric authentication, integration of electronic weighing machines with ePoS devices, cashless transaction through ePoS, distribution of food grains for ICDS and MDM schemes through ePoS and management of
distribution of food grains without bio-metric authentication.

They also got a chance to see the recent initiative of Village Mall
Scheme aimed at improving the viability of fair price shops. To set up
Village Malls in the FP Shops, the Andhra Pradesh government has tied up
with Reliance Group for ten districts and with Future Group for other
three districts.

According to the organisers, department of food and public
distribution has placed a lot of emphasis on improving the functioning
of PDS the country through automation of fair price shops, computerization of supply chain management and enforcement of provisions of National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013, regarding oversight and grievance redressal in partnership with states and union territories.

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