States/UTs asked to follow Guj, C`garh PDS models
The Centre has instructed all the states and the Union Territories to emulate computerised public distribution system.
New Delhi: The Centre has instructed all the states and the Union Territories to emulate computerised public distribution system implemented by Gujarat and Chhattisgarh which won praise from the Supreme Court.
"We have written to all 35 states and UTs to emulate the Gujarat and Chhattisgarh models of computerised PDS which came in for praise from the Supreme Court recently," a senior Food Ministry official said.
The Centre has told them to study the models, details of which are available on the NIC website, and draw their own on those lines, the official added.
"The Centre will provide financial and other assistance to the states in doing this," the official said.
The two BJP-ruled states, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh, came in for praise on September 14 from the Supreme Court, which asked the Centre why these be not taken as a model for the entire country.
The apex court had said that the Centre had no option but to computerise the world`s largest distribution network having more than five lakh fair price shops, which annually distribute foodgrains worth more than Rs 500 billion to about 180 million families.
The SC direction was based on the recommendations of a high-powered committee headed by Justice DP Wadhwa, a retired Supreme Court judge.
It divided the computerisation into two components -- first to arrest and correct diversions, leakages, delays in allocation and transportation, distribution of food grains to fair price shops; and the second, electronic authentication of delivery and payments at the fair price shop.
The Chhattisgarh`s system could serve as a model for the first component, while the one in Gujarat could be the model for the second component, the apex court had observed.
The Food Ministry official said that the states have to inform about progress in this regard to the SC appointed committee in three months.