INDEX

Contents

Page No.

 

Preface

2

Chapter – 1

Streamlined functioning of TPDS for ensuring food security to weaker sections of the society

3-9

Chapter – 2

Instruction issued by the Central Government to State UT Governments for strengthening of TPDS and to curb leakage and diversion

9 -10

Chapter – 3

RTI Act and TPDS

10 - 12

 

PREFACE

The Department of Food and Public Distribution Government of India, is implement­ing the Targeted Public Distribution under which a monthly quota of foodgrains is supplied at subsidized rates to the targeted population. Details of TPDS such as authorities responsible for its effective Implementation at Central, State, District, Block and Fair Price Shops levels are given in the following pages. This booklet enumerates the rights the citizens have, to get information from different channels of the delivery system regarding their entitlements of foodgrains, quality and quantities or such foodgrains supplied to the fair price shops. This booklet also incorporates the rights of the citizens under the Right to Information Act, 2005, with reference to TPDS. It is hopeful that the measures suggested in this booklet would result in effective, hassle free implementation of the TPDS by the Government of Mizoram and enable the eligible citizens to get their entitlements under the TPDS.

 

Chapter -1

STREAMLINED FUNCTIONING OF TPDS FOR ENSURING FOOD SECURITY TO WEAKER SECTIONS OF SOCIETY.

 

I.CITIZEN'S CHARTER FOR THE TARGETTED PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM (TPDS) FOR THE STATE OFMIZORAM

The Government ofMizoram views the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) as an important constituent of a strategy for ensuring food security of the targeted popu­lation by ensuring availability of monthly quota of food grains to them as perentitle­ment. The Government is committed to implement the TPDS to the best advantage of the beneficiaries with full transparency, and efficiency of operations and accountability of au­thorities implementing it.

 

II.ELIGIBILITY

At present TPDS benefits the poorest of the poor identified families under the Antyodaya Anna Yojna (AAY) and other population living below the Poverty Line identified as such within the over all norms approved by the Department of Food and Public Distribution, Government ofIndia. As regards people above the poverty line, the benefits under TPDS are restricted as per instructions issued from time to time.

 

III.LISTS OF BPL FAMILIES AND IDENTIFICATION OF AAY FAMILIES.

The Government ofMizoram has been given the responsibility to formulate suitable guidelines for Issuing ration cards to eligible families living below the Poverty Line, including the AA Y families, as per the norms approved by the Government of India regarding the total estimated number of the targeted BPL families. The Government of Mizoramfinalises the lists of beneficiaries belonging to BPL category, Including theAAY families, drawn up by the designated authorities in respect of the area under their respective jurisdiction. Care is taken to ensure that the upper limits prescribed on number of such families are not exceeded.

 

IV.ISSUE OF RATION CARDS:

The criteria prescribing eligibility and procedure for issuance of ration cards is widely publicized and made available to all citizens on demand. Receipt of application for ration card is duly acknowledged. The acknowledgementindicates the date on which the ration card can be collected, provided all the required information has been correctly given. The ration card holders are suitably advised and guided. regarding the Fair Price Shops at which they could register for obtaining supplies.

The names, designations, telephone numbers and addresses of officials, to whom grievances/complaints relating to delay or rejection of applications for ration cards are addressed, are prominently displayed at the concerned office premises.

All grievances/complaints and other correspondence are duly registered and acknowledged on the spot, if given in person, or within 7 days by post. Wherever possible, computerised information system is introduced to ensure, efficiency and effective follow up and disposal of grievances and complaints.

Issuance of BPL/AAY cards are as per procedure prescribed and the total number of AAY/BPL cards do not exceed the limit prescribed. Separate cards of distinctive colours are Issued to families belonging to the APL, BPL and AAY categories.

The Government of Mizoram ensures periodical checking of ration Cards to eliminate bogus Ration cards and also takes stern action against persons found guilty of misusing the TPDS benefits. A time limit for making any additions or deletions in the ration cards are drawn up by the Government of Mizoram as per the chart given below:

 

Item of work

Time limit

Authority to

effect changes

1. Inclusion/deletion of family/members

(by representation to Area Rationing Office

 

 

(i) Same day on presentation

of ration cards with

required proofs

(wherever necessary)

 

(ii) Within seven days if

physical verification is

necessary (for additions)

Secretary, Food Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Govt.of Mizoram

2. Change in address within jurisdiction of the

same FPS

Same day

-do-

3. Change in Address including change in FPS

Seven working days

-do-

4. Issru:mce of surrender certificate on transfer of

family to other city or otherwise

Two working days

-do-

5. Issuance of new ration card within the State

(with surrender certificate)

Seven working days

-do-

6. Issue of new ration cards in case of change of

State (with surrender certificate)

Two working days

-do-

 

V.SCALE OF ISSUE AND ISSUE PRICES:

The Central Governmentmakes foodgrains available to Government of Mizoram for distribution under the TPDS at such scales and prices as decided by the Government of India from time to time. The quantities of foodgrains to be supplied per family and issue prices as decided by the Government of Mizoram for distribution to the eligible consumer households is made available/known to the public through various means, including display on the departmental websites. These shall be invariable displayed at all FPSs.

 

VI.DISTRIBUTION

The procedure for distribution of foodgrains by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and the Government of Mizoram publicized widely for knowledge of the general public.

The FCIensures is physical delivery of foodgrains of fair average quality to the Government of Mizoram for distribution under the TPDS as per the allocations made by the Central Government within one week of the receipt of payments from the Government of Mizoram. On getting the allocation of foodgrains from the Central Government, the Government of Mizoram, Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Department will issue district-wise allocation orders authorizing their subordinate authorities to draw foodgrains from the Govt. Godown and ensure delivery of the same to the Fair Price Shops. In addition Director of Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs and District Civil Supply Officers, the District-wise allocation shall also be published on the web-site of the Government of Mizoram and those of the districts, If available. In the event of FCI not being able to deliver the foodgrains within a week, reasons for the same and the approximate time by which the foodgrains shall be delivered will be communicated to the Government of Mizoram.

The distribution is constantly moving towards more tranparency. The Government of Mizoram, Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Departmentmakes information available to the public about various storage points/godowns from where the foodgrains are lifted and sent to the FPS. At each delivery point samples of foodgrains meant for distribution under TPDS alongwith the quantity in stock is made available for scrutiny by any stakeholder (local citizens and their representatives). Stakeholders are provided with an opportunity to inspect the sample on an appointed day of the week. A time of two hours should be earmarked on that day for such inspections.

The District Civil Supplies Office sends copies of allocation orders to all the Fair Price Shops as well as to the Village Council/Vigilance Committees and any other body nominated for monitoring the functioning of the Fair Price Shops. The details of allocation is made available on the web-sites identified for the purpose at the district level.

 

VII.QUALITY OF FOODGRAINS:

Joint sampling will be done by representatives of State Government and Officials of FCI before Issue of foodgrains from FCI godowns. Wherever the Government of Mizoram, Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Department is not able to send a representative for joint sampling, FCIissues the foodgrains after observing the necessary formalities to avoid delay.

FCIissues to the Government of Mizoram_sealed samples of the stocks of foodgrains supplied to them (a sample is retained by FCI office/godown also for a period of two months from the date of Its issue) for distribution under the TPDS at the time of despatch. The Government of Mizoram exercise necessary checks to ensure that full quantity lifted by them reaches their godowns and the fair price shops. It also ensures that the stocks are not replaced by inferior quality stocks during storage. transit or at any other stage in the distribution chain.

 

VIII.FAIR PRICE SHOPS:

The TPDS functions through a network of fair price shops. The procedure for issue of licences or authorization to the FPS for distribution of essential commodities under the PDS is clearly laid down by the Govt. of Mizoram. The licenceclearly indicate the period for which the licence is valid. The governmentalso indicate the responsibilities and duties of the FPS owners which would inter-alia include (i) sale of essential commodities as per the entitlement of ration card holders at the retail issue price fixed by the Govt. of Mizoram under the TPDS. and (ii) display of all information on a Notice Board at a prominent place in the shop regarding (a) number of APL, BPL and AAY beneficiaries. (b) their entitlement of essential commodities. (c) scale of issue, (d) retail issue price (e) timings of opening and closing of the FPS, (f) stock of essential commodities received during the month, (g) opening and closing stock of essential commodities on. each day. (h) the authority for redressal of grievances/lodging com­plaints with respect to quality and quantity of essential commodities under the TPDS, and (i) time/day of the week when citizens can inspect the books/stocks. The list of APL, BPL and AA Y cardholders are available for scrutiny.

The fair price shop ownermaintains records of ration card holders, stock registers. issue or sale reqisters. etc. as prescribed by the Government. It is binding on the FPS owner to allow inspection of these documents by the Vigilance Committees or any local citizen as the case may be on a day/time (two hours) notified for this purpose once every week.

The Fair Price Shop ownerdisplays samples of foodgrains being supplied by the shop. The FPS owner do not retain ration cards after supply of essential commodities and provides relevant extracts of the records maintained by him on payment of prescribed fee as required under the Right to information Act, 2005. In the event of any practical difficulties to give copies, etc., facilities for inspection of records/samples/documents etc. is provided on an appointed day(s )/time at least once a week.

 

IX.INSPECTION AND CHECKING:

The Government of Mizoram, Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs ensures a proper system for monitoring of FPS and prescribe model sales records/registers, stock registers and ration card registers. The Government of Mizoram, Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs ensures Inspection of FPS not less than once in each month by designated authorities and also specify issues on which information would be collected by them. During the inspections, the quality and quantity of ration being supplied through FPS, smooth functioning of the FPS with reference to opening and closing time of the FPS, and dealings of the FPS owner/its workers with the TPDS beneficiaries is checked.

 

X.CANCELLATION OF LICENCES OF FPS.

The Government of Mizoram notifies circumstances under which the licence of a FPS can be cancelled and makes available the information regarding. the designated authorities for lodging any complaint against the erring FPS owners who violate the rules/procedures of the system.

A prompt and effective redressal mechanism is also laid down so that any short coming is pointed out by citizens may be promptly resolved. Village Councils/Local Councils/municipal bodies are involved in such a Mechanism.

 

XI.VIGILANCE AND PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

State Government constitute Vigilance Committees to periodically review functioning of the TPDS at FPS/Village/Block/District/State level with members from Government, social organizations, consumer organizations, local bodies etc. viz.

(i)The Vigilance Committees: A Vigilance Committee consisting of representatives of card holders (some of whom shall be women BPL/AAY beneficiaries), elected representative, consumer activists and other social workers of repute are set up in each village/municipal ward (in urban areas). In large villages with more than one FPS, more than one Vigilance Committee may be set up. The Chairman of the Municipal Council level Vigilance Committee may be the elected head of the local village Panchayat/municipal councilor corporation, as the case may be.

(ii)Block /Level Vigilance. Committees: Block/Taluk level Committees comprise five­ six card holders attached to the FPS, representatives of local bodies, social workers ofthe area, etc. The Block Level Committee covers FPSs in a Block and report to the District level Committee about functioning of FPSs and other related problems. The Chairman of the Vigilance Committee at Block Level may be the elected head of the Block.

(iii) District Level Vigilance Committee: Each, District level Committee, to be constituted by the Govt. of Mizoram will comprise. about 10 members from different segments like beneficiary groups, social/consumer organizations, people's elected representatives and be headed. The District level Vigilance Committee shall also be authorized to redress/solve the problems at his level to the maximum extent possible and, whenever it is not possible, he would refer the same with his recommendation to the State level Committee.

(iv) The State Level Commiittee: This Committee to be constituted by the Government may consist of concerned Senior Level Offcials from the Government, a few Members of Parliament, a few Members of Legislative Assemblies, Consumer Activists and Youth & Women's Organisations. The Com­mittee may be Chaired by the Minister in Charge of Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs and may include other Minis­ters of related Ministries such as Rural Development, Local Administration, Urban Development etc., as members in addition to the other members mentioned above. The Committee shall review quarterly the overall functioning of TPDS Scheme in the State, and difficulties being faced, if any, in smooth functioning of the Scheme in the State as a whole. The Committee/its members may also visit FPSs, and offices of Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Departments, meet beneficiaries of the Scheme and may recommend to the State Government corrective action for. any problems in implementation of TPDS. If a decision on any issue is injurisdiction of Central Government, the State level Committee may recommend corrective action to the Central Govt.

The Govt. of Mizoram shall implement a mechanism of grievances redressal for issues pointed out by the Block/Distt./State Level Vigilance Committees.

 

CHAPTER -2

INS1RUCTIONS ISSUED BY THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT TO STATE/

UTGOVERNMENTS FOR STRENGTHENING TPDS AND TO CURB

LEAKAGES/DIVERSIONS.

(1)States Governments should undertake a continuous campaign for review of BPL/AAY lists, to eliminate ghost ration cards.

(2) Strict action should be taken against guilty persons to ensure leakage-free distribution of foodgrains. In this respect Information under clause 9 of PDS (Control) Order,2001 must be regularly submitted to Central Government by the State Governments.

(3) For transparency in the functioning of TPDS, involvement of elected members of PRI/local municipal bodies in identification of AAY families and vigilance committees be ensured. As far as possible, FPS licences be given to SHGs, gram panchayats, cooperatives, etc.

(4)BPL/ AA Y and APL lists should be displayed on all FPSs.

(5) District-wise and FPS-wise allocation of foodgrains should be put up on websites and other promi­nent places, for public scrutiny.

(6) Wherever possible, doorstep delivery of foodgrains to FPSs should be ensured by States, instead of letting private transporters/wholesalers to transport the ration commodities.

(7) Timely availability of foodgrains every month at FPS and their distribution to ration card holders must be ensured.

(8)Training of members of FPS level Vigilance Committee should be ensured.

(9)Computerisation of TPDS operations should be undertaken.

(10) Electronic transfer of funds to FCI be introduced.

(11) Banners/boards on the windshield as well as rear end of the trucks/vehicles carrying PDS articles should indicate names of the State Government, destination, commodity and agent's name in addition to "TPDS" .

(12) Arrangement should. be put in place to track movement of foodgrains from FCI godowns upto the Fair Price Shops.

 

CHAPTER -3

RTI Act and TPDS

Action to be taken at various levels for facilitating effective use ofRTI Act, 2005 with respect to TPDS operations will be as follows:

Government of lndia Level

#Ensure that the addresses and contact numbers of the CPIOs, CAPIOS and AAs are displayed on the website.

#State-wise allocation made under the. TPDS and all other welfare schemes would be uploaded on the website of the FCI and Ministry of Food and Public Distribution. It shall also be made available to any citizen w1ho requests for it by following the procedure as laid down under the RTI Act, 2005.

#Quality norms for procurement and issuance of food grains under TPDS as well as specificationsof "fair, average quality" will be available in the public domain.

#FCI/State procuring agencies shall put on display the services available to farmers at the local mandi, the mode of payment at the time of procurement, the quality specifications and other details.

#FCI/other agencies will notify the updated stock position of all godowns on the web as well as onnotice boards outside godowns and offices. Such information can also be obtained by any citizen under the RTI Act, by following the laid down procedure.

#Samples of the foodgrains meant for TPDS will be available in premise of every FCI/ Agency godown for public scrutiny at specified time on a particular day every week.

#To facilitate inspections of records, each FCI office/godown will earmark afternoon of one work­ing day in a week for such inspections.

#Information on all transactions - receiving of foodgrains by the FCI godowns and their releases, would be displayed on the notice board on a daily basis.

 

STATE LEVEL

#Norms for giving fresh licences and eligibility criteria for getting a licence for FPS shall be pub­lished. A list of FPS shopkeepers along with the period for which the licences are valid shall be published on the District Level website.

#Methodology for identification of AAY beneficiaries and issuance of ration cards to them shall be notified on the web site.

#Criteria for preparing lists of the BPL families and identification of AA Y families as well as their entitlements must be prominently displayed on notice boards of all District, Sub-Division, Block. and Village level offices of Food and Civil Supplies Deptt. The information should be made available in the official language of the State and made available to citizens for inspection on demand with fees as, pre­scribed under the RTI Act.

#State Governments shall provide. infonnation to gram panchayat/municipal councils/corporations on availability, movement and quality of foodgrains, ete under TPDS.

#The District Civil Supplies Officer shall endorse copies of orders allocating foodgrains to all PRIs and urban local bodies at Distt.l City/Town /Block and Village level. Members of Village level Vigilance Committees shall be informed of it by the concerned PRIlFPS.

#Detailed infonnation about the Vigilance Committees such as their constitution, functions and powers may be displayed on the net.

 

AT INTERMEDIATE LEVEL:

The intermediate levels include State level or regional level godowns, through which foodgrains pass after they leave FCI godowns on their way to FPS:

#A ration card holder has the right to scrutinize the records and the physical stocks available at various storage godowns on an appointed day and time. This information must be displayed at the SWC/FCI depots.

#The frequency of issue of foodgrains to the FPS from the FCI/SWC depots should but mentioned on the notice board of the District/Block Civil Supplies Office.

#This Citizens' Charter should be displayed at all offices where ration card related work is done at the District/Block/Village levels. The entire section on pages 3, 4 and 5 of this citizens' charter should be put up on notice boards.

#Citizens' Charter should include names and contact details of designated authorities to register complaints in cases where a violation of the charter/PDS Control Order, 2001 is noticed.

#Any citizen can apply for inspection of files relating to public distribution from the civil supplies deptt. offices. Access must be allowed to citizens without asking for reasons for locus standi if exemptions are not applicable.

#Any citizen can apply under the RTI Act seeking samples of the grains stocked in the FCI/SWC storage depots and intermediate godowns or storage facilities. The same procedure prescribed in the Citizens' charter for collection and sealing of samples may be followed in this case with the addition that the requestor may be present on site during collection of samples if he/she so desires. The cost of the samples should be paid for by the applicant.

ATFPS LEVEL

# Each FPS shall display all relevant information such as each beneficiary's entitlement of various essential commodities, issue prices, name of Fair Price Shopkeeper, timings of opening and closing of FPS and weekly closing days, stock position, timing for inspection by citizens etc., at a conspicious place.

# The FPS shall also display procedure for lodging complaints with reference to quality and quantity of ration commodities and other problems being faced by TPDS beneficiaries during the course of getting their ration.

# Any consumer or local resident attached to the FPS is entitled to inspect the stock register, ration card register, other records and stocks available at the FPS at the appointed date/time.

# FPS should display detailed lists of BPL&AAY households under its jurisdiction. Copies of these lists should also be displayed on notice boards of Pane hay at office/Community halls of the village/Municipal Council Office.

# Complaint book with numbered pages should be maintained at each FPS and availability of the complaint book should be indicated for convenience of customers and general public.

# FPS should not keep any ration card with them. During inspection if the FPS owner is found to keep with him ration cards of consumers, it should lead to penal action.

 

 

APPENDIX

List of abbreviations used

 

AAY-Antyodaya Anna Yajona

APL-Above Poverty Line

BPL-Below Poverty Line

FCI-Food Corporation of India

SWC-State Warehousing Corporation

FPS-Fair Price Shop (S)

PRI-Panchayati Raj Institutions