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  1. 1. THE PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM – AN OVERVIEW Public Distribution System (PDS) is a poverty alleviation programme and contributes towards the social welfare of the people. It is considered as principal instrument in the hands of State Governments for providing safety net to the poor against the spiralling rise in prices of essential commodities. Essential commodities like rice, wheat, sugar, kerosene etc. are supplied to the people at reasonable prices. It is a boon to the people living BPL. Revamped Public Distribution System (RPDS) has been initiated by the GoI from 1992 in order to provide essential commodities to the people living in remote, backward and hilly areas. Government introduced Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) in the year 1997.
  2. 2. WADHWA COMMITTEE ON THE PDS IN KARNATAKA – CASE STUDY LEGISLATION PROTECTION The Essential Commodities Act, 1955 Any person aggrieved by the confiscation essential commodity can file an appeal to the judicial authority appointed by the state. The PDS Order, 2001, under clause 11 Aggrieved person in case of denial of ration card, issue and renewal of license, may file appeal before the appellate authority, the appeal will be heard by the authority and an appellate authority will be formed for looking into the functions and grievances of the PDS. The Karnataka Essential Commodities Control Order 1992, clause 17 Allows people denied, suspension of license or forfeiture of security deposit can appeal to the appellate authority  The committee visited Bangalore, Mysore, Dharwad, Haveri, Gadag districts of Karnataka.  The committee along with the food commissioner held informal public hearings and visited FPS.  But the committee observed that there is no strong implementation or enforcement of any of these methods of grievance redressal.
  3. 3. RECOMMENDATIONS OF WADHWA COMMITTEE 1. Central Vigilance Committee is of the considered view that an independent monitoring mechanism for addressing consumer complaints . 2. Such grievance redressal machinery would be in addition to the existing legal remedies that may be available to an aggrieved person under Clause 11 of the Public Distribution System (Control) Order, 2001. 3. Mechanism may be in the form of “Ombudsman/ Regulator” that may be created. He/she would act as ‘Watch Dog’ to ensure effective compliance of the PDS Control Order and should focus on investigating and resolving individual complaints and also address systemic issues. The Ombudsman/Regulator shall oversee the functioning of the Enforcement Branch including the Anti Hoarding Cell. 4. Provide free, fair, independent mechanism for speedy resolution of complaints with reference to the benchmark set out in the governing statute, order and circulars by the authorities and provide consumers an easily accessible system, which would be just and speedy in redressal of their complaints and grievances.
  4. 4. FORMULATION OF A GRIEVANCE REDRESSAL MECHANISM Grievance Redress Mechanism is part and parcel of the machinery of any administration. No administration can claim to be accountable, responsive and user-friendly unless it has established an efficient and effective grievance redress mechanism. In fact, the grievance redress mechanism of an organization is the gauge to measure its efficiency and effectiveness as it provides important feedback on the working of the administration.
  5. 5. CREATION OF A GRIEVANCE REDRESSAL MECHANISM PROCESSOF REDRESSAL TIER I Fair Price Shops monitored by the Assistant Grievance Redressal Officer (AGRO) who is entitled to supervise over the FPS at the sub-district, municipality and panchayat levels. The FPS owners answerable to the AGRO. TIER II Food & Supply Officer of District or Department of Food & Civil Supplies of State / Union Territory controlled and monitored by the GRO TIER III Consumer Forum. Controlled by the SGRC who has a wide jurisdiction powers. Adoption of revised Model citizen’s charter.
  6. 6. INSTITUTIONALIZATION AND STRUCTURE 1. Creation of Central and State Grievance Redressal Commissions with Central Grievance Redressal Commissioner (CGRC) and State Grievance Redressal Commissioner (SGRC) vested with special powers. The state GRC’s co-ordinate with the central GRCs for matters of procurement, allocation and transportation of goods. 2. There will be a GRO at the district level. And a Assistant Grievance Redressal Officer(AGRO) at the sub-district, municipality and panchayat levels who co-ordinate with the GRO of the district. GRC’s, GRO and the AGRO are appointed by the FCI at the central and state level. CGRC SGRC GRO AGRO Any citizen may file a complaint and the complaints must be redressed within a period of 30 days and extensions similar to Section 7 of the RTI Act. Every registered complaint needs to be given a token number for accountability and efficiency. In case of genuine reasons of lack of resources and overlapping of jurisdiction can the AGRO forward the complaint to the GRO. Weekly once, the AGRO must submit a detailed report to the GRO(for documentation and for transparency in the system) Hierarchy at the Grievances Redressal Commission
  7. 7. ROLES AND POWERS GRO AGRO 1. Monitors the activities at the District level. 2. Power of the GRO greater than the AGRO. Has a wider jurisdiction than the GRO. 3. Maintains the accounts and responsible for functioning of all the APIO under that district. 4. The letters which come to the GRO are forwarded to the responsible AGRO. 1. Can discuss issues with the existing Vigilance Committee related to complaints received. Since the complaints are usually at the grass-root level, this function of the AGRO becomes very crucial. 2. AGRO can provide Redressal to the grievances under his jurisdiction. The others are forwarded to the GRO. 3. Since the APIO works at the grass-root level, he/she is vested with certain powers of monitoring and keeping a check on the FPS.
  8. 8. PUNITIVE MEASURES The Bill empowers the appellate authorities to impose penalty up to Rs.50,000 upon defaulting officers and GROs. A portion of the penalty may be awarded as compensation to the complainant. In case there is evidence of corruption against any authority, the GRO is bound to inform the Court or any other judicial authority with at least a little evidence. Strict legal action will be taken against the FPS and other authorities involved in wrong doings. TIME BOUND SERVICE DELIVERY AND GREIVANCE REDRESSAL BILL, 2011
  9. 9. IMPACT OF POLICY IMPACT ASSESSMENT Speedy redressal Increases quality Efficiency of PDS System of checks and balances Increases Accessibility
  10. 10. BIBLIOGRAPHY - Bhalla, Surjit S. (2012, Jan 7). Enhancing Corruption the NAC Way. Oxus Investments. Retrieved from - Geetha, S and Suryanarayana, M. (1993, Oct). Revamping PDS: Some Issues and Implications. Jstor: Economic and political weekly, 28(41). - Indrakanth S. (1997, May). Coverages and Leakages in PDS in Andhra Pradesh. Jstor: Economic and political weekly, 32(19). - Jha, Shikha and Srinivasan, P. (2001, Oct). Taking the PDS to the Poor: Directions for further reforms. Jstor: Economic and political weekly, 36(39). - Jitendra. (2013, May). Public Deprived System. Down to Earth. - Mahendra, Dev. (1998, August 29). Public Distribution System: Impact on Poor and Options for Reform. Jstor: Economic and political weekly. - Planning Commission. (2005). Performance Evaluation of Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS). Retrieved from - Planning Commission. (2005). Performance Evaluation of Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS). Retrieved from