Govt should take over FPS to check PDS corruption: Supreme Court panel

A Supreme Court appointed panel has recommended that the above-poverty-line (APL) families should not be given subsidised food grains and the government agencies should undertake their distribution directly instead of doing so through Fair Price Shops run by private persons to check corruption in PDS.

Justice D P Wadhwa Committee told that there is undoubtedly nexus between the Fair Price Shop (FPS) owners, transporters, bureaucrats and politicians which can be checked only if recommendations made by it is implemented.

“It is a known fact that FPS is epicentre of corruption where FPS owner, transporter, corrupt officials and the politicians are hand in gloves to cheat the public,” the committee said.

It also said, “Diversion of PDS food grain to black-market deprives the genuine beneficiary of his allotted quantity of food grain. Choice is thus between a corrupt FPS functioning and the state itself taking over the functioning of FPS. For this purpose it becomes essential that a Civil Supplies Corporation in the state is constituted to work as an independent body to distribute PDS food grain at FPS level and take over existing FPS.”

The committee in its recommendations to the apex court said the FPS should not be run by private individual and it should be ideally run by state-level corporations, Panchayati Raj Institutions, cooperatives and registered women self-help groups.

According to the panel adding with the corporation should be headed by a senior lAS officer, “Any loss in the operation of corporation should be compensated by the state by making budgetary provisions. Where no infrastructure like shop or godown exists for operating FPS, it should be built by state/corporation on the lines of Mother Dairy outlet or ATM or Post Office.”

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