New Delhi: Keen to check pilferage of foodgrains in the public distribution system (PDS), the Prime Minister`s Office is pushing for reforms in it and has called a meeting this week in this regard.
The meeting on July 3, to be chaired by the Prime Minister`s Principal Secretary Pulok Chatterjee, will take stock of the steps being taken for reforms in the PDS system, which include end-to-end computerisation and use of GPS for monitoring of truck movements, sources said.
The reforms are aimed at checking pilferage of foodgrains being supplied by the government through dedicated ration shops to the people below poverty line (BPL) at subsidised rates.
Food Minister K V Thomas had recently said in Parliament that there were around 20 crore beneficiaries of PDS system in the country out of which 2 crore had been detected as "bogus" ration card holders.
Though there are no exact figures about pilferage of foodgrains meant to be distributed through PDS, some estimates in 2005 had suggested that 40 per cent of such food stuff does not reach the intended persons.
As part of the reforms, the government intends to put all ration card-holders on a database and issue smart cards to the targeted beneficiaries to have real assessment about utilisation of foodgrains released through PDS, the sources said.
Some steps have already been initiated to improve PDS which include monitoring movement of trucks through GPS.