ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Public Distribution : First Steps

First Steps The decisions taken at the recent conference of state food ministers are hopefully the first of a series of measures to reorganise the public distribution system (PDS). Incentives will now be provided for decentralised procurement and distribution of foodgrains. The centre will meet the cost of local transportation, packing and offer a commission to village-level societies that procure grain. Decentralised procurement of rice and wheat has been talked about for years, but this is the first time concrete measures, albeit small ones, have been announced. This should provide some impetus to a widening of procurement, which for decades has been concentrated in Haryana, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh (the latter only for rice). Distribution of cereals too is concentrated, in peninsular India, and the latest decisions are intended to encourage both local procurement and distribution.

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