In order to bring relief to the most vulnerable, a record allocation 109.33 LMT food grains for free of cost distribution for Uttar Pradesh has been made under PMGKAY. Over 14.71 Crore persons of Uttar Pradesh are being benefited through the said scheme. The cost of these food grains amounts to Rs 40093 crores.
The Government of India is bearing the entire cost on account of such distribution including food subsidy, intra-state transportation, dealer’s margin/additional dealer’s margin etc and the foodgrains are being issued free of cost to the State Government by Food Corporation of India. Under this scheme, 5 Kg food grains per person (which includes 3 Kg Wheat and 2 Kg Rice) per month was distributed additionally to the NFSA beneficiaries. Uttar Pradesh has the highest allocation in the country under NFSA.
During the last 3-4 years, the state has witnessed a sea change in the distribution and procurement system, with increased use of technology leading to greater transparency and huge savings in cost for the Govt. exchequer. Automation of Public distribution system in U.P has been a key feature behind this increased transparency in PDS in UP.
The automation of PDS operations has manifold benefits both for the State Govt. as well as citizens.
Benefits to the Government include –
➢ Biometric authentication of beneficiaries has minimized fraudulent practices, pilferage etc.
➢ The state is recording 100% authentication-based transactions
➢ More than 30 Lakh duplicate beneficiaries removed and approx. 7 Lakh dormant ration card has been removed
➢ Automation of around 80,000 FPS led to savings of around Rs 3000 cr for the Govt. of U.P.
➢ Increased efficiency, performance evaluation and proactive identification of deviations, if any.
Benefits to the citizens –
➢ Biometric authentication has ensured that the right beneficiary gets the right quantity at the right price
➢ Dedicated helplines and mobile application have made lodging of complaints, giving feedback easier for beneficiaries
➢ Portability has enabled beneficiary to buy ration from any shop in the state or outside the state
Automation in procurement-
The Automation is not restricted to PDS alone. It has now got itself absorbed in procurement system as well. Many digital initiatives have been taken to strengthen the procurement system in U.P. Some of them include
● Integration of farmers’ land records with the procurement portal for ensuring procurement through bonafide land owners.
● Direct transfer of MSP into the farmer’s bank accounts through PFMS after verification of the bank account details so that MSP is paid only to the actual farmer and there are no leakages in the system.
● Introduction of online billing system – integration of FCI operations with the procurement portal which enable e-billing of stock delivered in the central pool and its payment thereof from KMS 2020-21 onwards.
● U.P. is the first state in the country to implement an online Wheat delivery and billing system.
● Procurement from the farmers through biometric authentication of the farmers from RMS 2021-22 on a pilot basis to ensure Procurement from authentic farmers only and to rule out possibilities of involvement of middlemen so that the benefits of MSP are given to the entitled only.
Government of India is committed to the welfare of farmers in Uttar Pradesh.