SRINAGAR, JULY 24: In the past four years, Jammu and Kashmir has experienced a ground breaking overhaul in its Public Distribution System (PDS), with a series of innovative reforms and technology-driven initiatives leading to unprecedented success. These reforms have resulted in the eradication of leakages, enhanced efficiency, and ensured the benefits of PDS reach those who truly deserve it.
The government's decision to link Aadhaar cards with PDS beneficiary records has been a game-changer in enhancing transparency and preventing leakages. By associating Aadhaar information with ration cards, the system has become foolproof, eliminating duplication and ensuring only eligible individuals receive the benefits.
The implementation of the National Food Security Act (NFSA) has played a crucial role in extending support to the most vulnerable sections of society. The government's achievement of 100% Ration Card Level under NFSA ensures no eligible household is left out from the PDS network.
To streamline the distribution process and enhance accountability, 6,413 out of 6,735 Point-of-Sale (PoS) machines were converted to online status. Additionally, 322 PoS machines were made offline to cater to areas with limited internet connectivity. This tech-driven approach expedites the distribution process and reduces malpractices, allowing for real-time monitoring.
Over 93% of PDS transactions now occur online, with beneficiaries drawing their ration through Aadhaar authentication. This minimizes human intervention and empowers beneficiaries with a convenient and hassle-free process. The authentication system also enables easier tracking of food grain movement, ensuring efficient stock management.
The implementation of One Nation One Ration Card (ONRC) facilitates seamless portability, allowing beneficiaries to avail their entitled ration from any PDS outlet across the country. This has been especially beneficial for transient populations and strengthens the food security network.
The meticulous de-duplication exercise led to the removal of one million ineligible beneficiaries from the PDS system. This not only ensures that benefits reach those truly deserving but also saves substantial resources and reduces the burden on the exchequer.
The combined impact of technology integration, Aadhaar authentication, and de-duplication has resulted in significant financial savings. The streamlined PDS has saved over Rs 230 crores and efficiently distributed 1.6 Lakh MTs of food grains to the needy population.
By leveraging technology, embracing Aadhaar authentication, and implementing innovative schemes like ONORC, the administration has set a remarkable precedent for other states to follow. The elimination of leakages, improved efficiency, and substantial cost savings stand as a testament to the successful implementation of these reforms. The reformed PDS system serves as a shining example of how good governance positively impacts the lives of the most vulnerable and marginalized sections of society.