PDS inefficient, corrupt: SC panel
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Last Updated: Tuesday, March 16, 2010, 23:07
New Delhi: A Supreme Court-appointed committee has described the public distribution system (PDS) in the country as "inefficient and corrupt" plagued by black marketing and diversion involving a "vicious cartel of bureaucrats, fair price shop owners and middlemen".

The central vigilance committee headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice D P Wadhwa in its report to the apex court said the Rs 28,000-crore subsidy annually spent by the Centre was being pocketed by vested interests and suggested drastic action to stem the rot.

"PDS is inefficient and corrupt. There is diversion and blackmarketing of PDS food grain in largescale. Subsidized PDS foodgrains do not reach the poor who desperately need the same. These poor people never get the PDS foodgrains in proper quantity and quality.

"FPS owner who is aware of bogus/fake ration cards uses these for black marketing of PDS foodgrains. False entries are made in the sale register/stock register and the accounts manipulated and fudged. PDS foodgrain is not given to the cardholder as per his entitlement in fully quantity and yet he is made to pay excessive prices than prescribed," Justice Wadhawa's report said on Delhi government's PDS.

A bench of Justices Dalveer Bhandari and K S Radhakrishnan took on record the report for passing appropriate orders.

The committee was appointed by the apex court while dealing with a PIL filed by PUCL in 2001 alleging largescale corruption and diverion in the country's PDS system. Since then, the court has been monitoring the case and passing a series of directions.

The committee said the PDS system in Rajasthan has collapsed as political pressure is put on officials for distribution and the situation was equally pathetic in Jhharkand, Bihar, Gujarat, Orissa, Karnataka and Uttarkhand, for which which it had given instances.


First Published: Tuesday, March 16, 2010, 23:07

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