New Delhi: The food and public distribution department has signed an agreement with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to scale up computerization of the targeted public distribution system (TPDS) in the country.
"The WFP programme will assist the selected states to expedite their TPDS computerisation programmes and will complement the ongoing efforts being made for modernisation of TPDS by the government of India and state governments," the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution said in a statement Friday.
The agreement provides for development and implementation of additional TPDS pilot projects based on the WFP model in Rayagada district of Odisha.
The government of Odisha in partnership with the WFP is implementing a pilot project to strengthen the TPDS through use of new ration cards against biometric validation or smart cards with point-of-sale devices in fair price shops, deduplication of ineligible cards etc.
A project covering state capital Bhubaneswar is also under preparation by the WFP.
Additional pilot projects would be implemented in consultation with the states, the central government and the WFP. The selection of states under the deal would include those which have not fully implemented computerization of TPDS.
Modernisation including computerisation of TPDS in the country is enabling timely allocation of foodgrains, biometric identification of beneficiaries, recording of transactions at the fair price shops and tracking of foodgrains.
This has brought about a perceptible change in targeting of PDS, elimination of over 2.48 crore ineligible ration cards and resultant saving of foodgrains, the ministry said.