"The leakage, on an average, is nearly 10-15 percent," Minister of State for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution K V Thomas said in a reply during Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha.
The government provides subsidised foodgrains to the poor through the TPDS. The Economic Survey for 2010-11 prepared by the Finance Ministry had indicated that over 40 percent of the grain meant for distribution to the poor through the TPDS does not reach the target audience.
The onus for procurement, allocation and transportation of foodgrains up to the designated depots of Food Corporation of India (FCI) lies with the central government.
The duty of lifting and distributing the allocated foodgrains to the eligible people through fair price shops is with the states.
Thomas said that the estimates in the Economic Survey for 2010-11 were prepared on the basis of a study conducted by economist Reetika Khera and the latest study, done by a group of research scholars, including Khera, recently opined, "There has been an impressive revival in the TPDS across the country."
"The group have based their findings on a study made in 106 randomly selected villages, spread over two districts each in nine states, covering a total of 1,227 BPL/Antyodaya households," Thomas said.
The team visited various states, including Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
"It has also been pointed out the days when up to half of the PDS grain was diverted to the open market are gone," he added.