A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Department of Food and Public Distribution, Government of India and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) for scaling up computerization of Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) within the country here today. It was signed in the presence of Secretary Food, Dr B.C. Gupta and Director Operation WFP(Rome)
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, tracking of foodgrains, etc. This has brought about a perceptible change in targeting of PDS, elimination of over 2.48 crore bogus/ineligible ration cards and resultant saving of foodgrains. 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 MoU provides for development and implementation of additional TPDS Pilot projects based on the WFP model in Rayagada district of Odisha where in partnership with the WFP, Government of Odisha is implementing a pilot project to strengthen the TPDS through use of new ration cards against biometric validation / Smart cards with point-of-sale devices in fair price shops, deduplication of ineligible cards, etc. A project covering Bhubaneswar, Odisha is under preparation by WFP and additional pilot projects would be implemented in consultation with the States, Central Government and WFP. The selection of States under the MoU would include those which have not fully implemented computerization of TPDS.
Under the MoU, the Department of Food and Public Distribution will facilitate the WFP TPDS computerization programme. It will also provide the necessary information and advise on the programme as well as the selection of States for implementation