By: M.S.Yatnatti: Editor and Video Journalist Bengaluru:. Is secretary deputy secretary under secretary is above the cabinet minister is the question raised under RTI Appeal by me as reportedly Pankaj Kumar Pandey Secretary, Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs is acting against the legitimate orders of Minister UT Khadar by not calling food vigilance committee in a written reply to the minister and de-stabilizing state level food vigilance committee by not paying allowances perks TA DA as per the orders of ministryfinance Government of India and UGC and ICAR the central Government organization as state level food vigilance committee is constituted under central government Act and central Government allowances perks TA DA are applicable to its non official members for Rs 10,000/- meetings and Rs 10,000/- inspections and TA DA equivalent to secretary of the department . Karnataka state can become a model state by creating best state level food vigilance committee with best of best its office and best working members with best and comparable TA DA and sitting and inspection fees to its members with hat of central government organization.As per PDS Control order these vigilance committees need to inspectevery PDSFair Price Shops (FPS) check leakages and diversions in every six months and file complaints to District grievance officer if malpractice and black marketing if found .Demands have been made to Mr U T Khadar Minister for food to issue government order to pay members of state level food vigilance committee who are public servants salary and allowances perks TA DA for meetings and inspections and provide sufficient administrative and technical and support staff and provide Government accommodation and government vehicle as equivalent to that of secretary to the Government of Karnataka as these non-official members need to implement NFSA and listen people grievances and solve them and visit every district and monitor the all government schemes under NFSA and this vigilance committee is not a enterprise or public limited company to treat them as commercial directors. Karnataka government has reportedly nominated 5 non official persons for state level food vigilance committee and four non-officials from zone levels as per the rules and one from NGO totaling 10 members .But these members are reportedly not remunerated and given perks though budgetary provisions are made for it.To prevent the violation of provisions of TPDS [Control] Order 2015 and NFSA 2013, the Department of Food & Public Distribution is implementing a Plan Scheme on 'End-to-end Computerisation of TPDS Operations' under 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) on cost sharing basis with the States/UTs. The Scheme comprises of activities namely, digitization of ration cards/beneficiary and other databases, computerisation of supply-chain management, setting up of transparency portals and grievance redressal mechanisms and installation of ePoS devices at Fair Price Shops and issuance of foodgrains through biometric authentication. Besides above, all States/UTs have been also requested to seed the Aadhaar numbers in Ration Card database. The scheme will enable removal of bogus/ineligible ration cards and better targeting of food subsidy, facilitate availability of foodgrains to intended beneficiaries at Fair Price Shops (FPS), check leakages and diversions etc. As on date 24.01.2017, 100% digitization of ration cards and 72.97% seeding of Aadhaar has been achieved and 1.78 lakh ePOS are currently operating at Fair Price Shops. Given that leakages in PDS reportedly range from 40 to 50 percent, and in some states reportedly go as high as 60 to 70 percent, GoI should defer implementation of NFSA in states that have not done end to end computerization; have not put the list of beneficiaries online for anyone to verify, and have not set up vigilance committees to check pilferage from PDS. Karnataka government has reportedly nominated five persons for state level food vigilance committee .The State Government with an aim to monitor the distribution of the essential commodities that are being distributed through the Public Distribution System (PDS) and thereby to ensure the participation of the Public in monitoring of PDS, has constituted vigilance committees. State level has been constituted by nominating five unofficial members with host o official members andpublic representatives which will under the chairmanship of Hon' ble Minister for Food, Civil supplies and Consumer Protection.
TDPS (Control) Order, 2015 and PDS (Control) Order, 2001, stipulate that State/UT Governments are required to review the lists of beneficiaries every year for the purpose of deletion of ineligible families and inclusion of eligible families. State/UT Governments have been requested from time to time to carry out drives for reviewing the list of beneficiaries under TPDS. The exercise of deletion of bogus/ineligible cards and inclusion of eligible families is a continuous process and State/UT Governments are to periodically carry out the same. As per the information received from State/UT Governments, as a result of the continuous exercise of reviewing the list of Ration Cards, a total of 2.33 crores ration cards have been deleted during the period 2013 to 2016[upto 15-11-2016]. As and when complaints are received by the Government from individuals and organizations as well as through press reports, these are referred to the State/UT Governments for inquiry and appropriate action. Section 29 of the NFSA, 2013 provides for State Governments to set up VCs at the State, District, Block and FPS levels comprising of such persons as may be prescribed by them, giving due representation to the local authorities, SCs, STs, women, destitute or persons with disability in these Committees. Section 29 of Act further prescribes the functions to be performed by the VCs, namely, regular supervision of implementation of all the schemes under NFSA including TPDS, informing the District Grievance Redressal Officer (DGRO) in writing of any violation of the provision of the Act as well as of malpractices or misappropriation of funds found by it. These provisions are expected to further strengthen the institution of VCs and ensure an effective role for them in the distribution system.Coverage and entitlement under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) : Upto 75% of the rural population and 50% of the urban population will be covered under TPDS, with uniform entitlement of 5 kg per person per month. However, since Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) households constitute poorest of the poor, and are presently entitled to 35 kg per household per month, entitlement of existing AAY households will be protected at 35 kg per household per month..State-wise coverage : Corresponding to the all India coverage of 75% and 50% in the rural and urban areas, State-wise coverage will be determined by the Central Government. Planning Commission has determined the State-wise coverage by using the NSS Household Consumption Survey data for 2011-12. Subsidised prices under TPDS and their revision : Foodgrains under TPDS will be made available at subsidised prices of Rs. 3/2/1 per kg for rice, wheat and coarse grains for a period of three years from the date of commencement of the Act. Thereafter prices will be suitably linked to Minimum Support Price (MSP).In case, any State's allocation under the Act is lower than their current allocation, it will be protected upto the level of average offtake under normal TPDS during last three years, at prices to be determined by the Central Government. Existing prices for APL households i.e. Rs. 6.10 per kg for wheat and Rs 8.30 per kg for rice has been determined as issue prices for the additional allocation to protect the average off take during last three years.