What is PDS?

What is Public Distribution System (PDS)?

The Public Distribution System (PDS) is India’s lead food security program yet additionally experiences notable failures. Indeed, even authority government gauges propose that a huge portion of public spending on the PDS doesn’t arrive at the expected recipients. Accordingly, Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) instead of sponsored food has arisen as the main strategy elective, with the Prime Minister himself proposing that the PDS ought to be supplanted by DBT.

Seeing the allure of DBT: month-to-month moves into ledgers could reduce authoritative expenses and spillage while engaging recipients to buy food of their choice is simple. Yet, DBT likewise presents extensive dangers: unfortunate execution might exacerbate recipients off; the worth of moves might be lacking (particularly if they are not listed to showcase costs and expansion), and admittance to banks/ATMs and markets might shift across areas. Beneficiaries may likewise utilize cash for non-food things, which may be their inclination yet would decrease the effect on arrangement objectives for food security and sustenance.

Throughout the course of recent years, we inspected these issues in pilots of DBT instead of PDS in three Union Territories (Chandigarh, Puducherry, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli), leading three rounds of overviews with an agent test of more than 6,000 families. Our principal discoveries were as per the following.


To start with, DBT execution worked over the long run however stayed a test even a year and a half into the rollout. According to true records, more than the vast majority of moves were made effectively. However, in family studies, around 20% of respondents said that they had not gotten DBT for the comparing time-frames. This hole was because of cash going to an unexpected record in comparison to those being effectively utilized, as well as passbooks not being refreshed. Consequently, while we found no proof of ‘spillage’ in the DBT, an impressive number of clients experienced issues in getting to it.

Second, costs fluctuated across recipients. For those utilizing ATMs, it cost less (in time and cash) to get to the money and purchase grains from the market than to gather PDS proportions. Be that as it may, for recipients who needed to utilize a bank office, it cost more (in time and cash) to get to money and markets than the PDS. Recipients who spent more than the DBT sum got to purchase a similar measure of grain on the lookout however bought greater grains.


At long last, recipient inclination for DBT over in-kind PDS benefits advanced after some time. In our most memorable round of reviews (a half-year into the program), 66% of recipients favored PDS over DBT. Be that as it may, in our third cycle (year and a half into the program), this had switched with 66% now leaning toward DBT to PDS. The expressed explanations behind leaning toward DBT were decision and adaptability, and greater of grains. Interestingly, the individuals who favored the PDS noted lower costs and higher amounts of grain under PDS.

These outcomes feature why DBT in PDS is a particularly complicated approach question. Recipient inclinations moved towards DBT with openness and further developed execution. However, individuals went against it at first thus it would be both deceptive and politically ill-advised to force DBT by fiat. Further, even with the experience of the two choices, there is significant variation across recipients, which might clear up areas of strength among partners on whether to supplant the PDS with DBT. How then would it be advisable for us to continue?


We suggest a basic yet strong methodology: as opposed to policymakers choosing PDS and DBT, we could give recipients that decision. Such a methodology is plausible now because the PDS; is being digitized with e-PoS (electronic retail location) machines to empower the versatility of advantages. Recipient decisions can be caught on the e-PoS machines and DBT or grain assignments made in like manner every month. Advantages can be moved into the record of the female family head to build her impact on their utilization.

The decision-based approach mirrors the truth that individuals in better places and times need various things; and works on recipient government assistance by growing their choices. It likewise lessens the political and moral dangers of the change. At long last, the accessibility of DBT might try and; assist with working on the current PDS; as it should convey an incentive for individuals to keep on picking it over DBT. The monetary reasonability of; PDS vendors can be improved by permitting them to stock different items as well; so PDS isn’t their main wellspring of income.


Pilots of the decision-based approach ought to be assessed cautiously to gauge their effects on food utilization and sustenance. We are presently working with the my site Maharashtra government to do such in Mumbai and can do as such in different states also.

Mahatma Gandhi’s introduction to the world commemoration; is a decent event to focus on planning government assistance programs in manners that engage the burdened with additional decisions; and safeguard the weakest citizenry. The decision-based approach does precisely this.

Public Distribution System (PDS) has evolved as a system of management of scarcity; through distribution of food grains at affordable prices. Over the years, PDS has become an important part of Government’s Policy for management of food economy in the country.


It is additional in nature and is not intended to make available; the entire requirement of any of the commodities distributed; under it to a household or a section of the society. PDS is operated under the joint responsibility of the Central; and the State Governments. The Central Government, through Food Corporation of India (FCI), has assumed the responsibility for procurement; storage, transportation and bulk allocation of food grains to the State Governments. The operational responsibility including allocation within State; identification of eligible families, issue of Ration Cards and supervision of the functioning of Fair Price Shops (FPSs) etc.; rest with the State Governments. Under the PDS, presently the commodities like wheat; rice, sugar and kerosene are being allocated to the States /UTs for distribution. Some States/ UTs also distribute additional items of mass consumption through the PDS outlets such as pulses; edible oils, iodized salt, spices, etc.

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