Food Distribution System Case Study

1170 Words5 Pages
1. Introduction For a country like India where more than one-third of the population lives in a condition of extreme poverty and around half of its children suffer from malnourishment, food security is undoubtedly one of the most important issues. Within the larger issue, the debate between PDS and Cash Transfer has been going on for quite some time, and recent developments seem to suggest the Government has decided to go in favor of the latter. This move comes in light of the report of the High Level Committee (HLC) on Reorienting and Restructuring the Food Corporation of India (FCI) known as the Shanta Kumar committee. The Committee has recommended the progressive replacement of PDS with Cash Transfers citing the argument of leakages (GoI,…show more content…
It was started during the British rule during World War 2 as a rationing system. It started off in Bombay in 1939 and by 1946 it was covering 771 cities and towns (FAO). When the war ended India decided to abolish the rationing system however due to high inflation immediately after independence the country was forced to reintroduce it in 1950. Since then, the Public distribution of food grains was retained as a deliberate social policy when India embarked on the path of a planned economic development in 1951. It was, in fact, an important component of the policy of growth with justice. Before the 1960s the distribution of food grains through the PDS was largely dependent on imports. Since the 1960s and the Green Revolution the Agriculture Prices Commission and the Food Corporation of India was set up to improve the domestic procurement and storage of grains for the PDS. In the 1970s the PDS was converted into a universal scheme for the distribution of subsidized food grains to the poor. Then by 1990s, it was strengthened to distribute food to the poor households in the hilly and other inaccessible areas. In 1997, the Government had launched the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), with the objective of better targeting of the subsidies to the poor through a network ration shops. Currently, food grains such as rice and wheat are procured from farmers at a minimum support…show more content…
During the drought of 1987, which is considered as one of the worst, the PDS helped overcome it with effectiveness. A recent study suggests that the PDS has helped lift 55 million people above the poverty line in 2009-10. (Himanshu and Sen, 2013). According to the study the PDS contributes to not just increased consumption of cereals but it also savings which can be used for buying better foods such as pulses. They show how the calories consumption through the PDS is almost twice of the same amount through income. Thus, it can be safely said that today the PDS is serving as the life line of the country and since the food consumption in India is still very low there is a critical need for a direct food programme such as the

More about Food Distribution System Case Study

Open Document