The Public Distribution System (PDS) is the key channel of the Government's food security system in India. PDS is operated under the joint responsibility of the Central and the State Governments. The present food basket of PDS includes wheat, rice, sugar and kerosene. Many States/UTs also permit sale of food items such as pulses, iodized salt, spices, and edible oil, through the PDS outlets.
Under NFSA, 2013 total coverage under PDS has gone up to 75% for the rural population and upto 50% for the urban population at the all India level. Beneficiaries under AAY are allocated 35 kg per family per month; Non AAY card holders are allocated 5 kgs per person per month at Rs 3 per kg rice and Rs 2 kg for wheat.
Operational Model in PDS
FCI procures the grain from the farmers, and transports in to central warehouses. From central warehouses the grains are transported to state warehouses. The grains are transported from state warehouses to the Fair Price Shops.
As per the supply chain, fortification in PDS for rice needs to be done at the FCI stage right after rice is procured and sent for milling. For wheat flour, fortification needs to be done at the state godown level where state tenders the millers to convert the wheat grain into wheat and fortifying wheat as per FSSAI standards.
A directive has been issued by the Department of Food and Public Distribution, advising all the states to give wheat flour/fortified wheat flour in place of wheat grains to the beneficiaries.