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Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) – II

Government of India has announced the scheme with the aim that it would not allow any beneficiary to suffer on account of non-availability of sufficient food grains due to disruptions from COVID-19

Post by on Friday, August 13, 2021

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Possible and Sustainable Reformations
There is a dire need to move into an innovative door delivery mode and can be replicated from successful models across the country. Commodities must be of good quality for distribution at the doorsteps of the cardholders. The move can give huge sigh of relief, particularly to elderly people and differently abled. 
Mobile dispensing units (MDU) can be deployed for the distribution of essential commodities under PDS. Procurement of vehicles can be done through a proper transparent competitive bidding system after clearance of necessary formalities. A Proper policy plan is needed for transparent allocation of these Mobile Dispensing vehicles at subsidized rates to local and un-employed youth, which in a way can generate entrepreneurship skills along with improvement in socio-economic status. 
Usage of Technological interventions enable Mobile dispensing units to tap all the existing ration cards under NFSA with GIS system synchronized with the MDU’s to enable transparent delivery. A system can be developed in such a way that cardholders could also track the movement of MDU through a mobile app and plan their daily routine work. The door delivery system will also down curtains on the corrupt practices prevailing in the distribution. The sealing of each bag must be packed with tamper proof seal and opened right in front of the end consumer/beneficiary. 
Electronic weighing machines are essential to be set up in all the MDU’s to facilitate the volunteers to dispense the stock only after weighing them right in front of the cardholders.In any case if Cardholder fails to collect the ration at his house due to emergency, Village level Vigilance committees can play a pivotal role in service delivery up to the village/ward office and collect the ration from MDU every day for particular time. The role of Village level Vigilance committees also play major role in the implementation of the welfare schemes in state. Social auditing of commodities distribution in presence of public can also prevent corrupts practices.
The recommendations mentioned are based on the adopted and viable best practices enacted and implemented in several states of the country; Initiatives should be taken to strengthen the awareness among people regarding their rights and provisions under schemes designed for implementation of the National Food Security Act (2013); Proper training and capacity building sessions should be initiated on grassroots level for making people aware about different available facilities and information regarding different schemes. Some of the recommendations are: 
Adoption and Promotion of techniques like door delivery wherein fine quality of commodities can be distributed at the door step of the beneficiary, especially for differently abled and elderly beneficiaries.
Government of India should initiate distribution of various commodities in a package, which should be packed with tamper proof seal and opened right in front of the end consumer.
It has been observed that many of the true beneficiaries have been suffering due to large-scale pilferage and diversion, retail level issues including duplicates and ghost beneficiaries. Monitoring of the scheme has become a difficult task for effective implementation, the main reason due to insufficient staff and its complicity.
Adoption of Online Authentication Services provided by UIDAI (fingerprints, iris and photo for face recognition) can be used for the sale of PDS commodities to BPL beneficiaries in all Fair Price Shops (FPS). Which will improve efficiency and transparency in the system and enable on time ration delivery to eligible beneficiaries. The system will enable monitoring the sale and stock availability at every FPS. 
There should be adoption of technical expertise, wherein E-POS and biometric machines be maintained and calibrated on a weekly basis so that beneficiaries can get easy access to ration without any technical complexity.
(Aamir Manan Deva is Public Policy Advisor-(SSD) Food and Consumer Affairs, Government of Madhya Pradesh & Arpita Khare is Research Associate, AIGGPA, Bhopal. Feedback:  aamir.deva@mp.nic.in)

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