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Kerala PDS to go hi-tech

Posted on Nov 09, 09:19PM | IANS

Tracking of vehicles carrying food items distributed through the public distribution system (PDS) using GPS, smart cards for all those using ration shops and crediting of the subsidy directly into the bank account of consumers are among steps the Kerala government has taken to make the PDS system in the state more efficient.

"We are going to go hi-tech to see that the entire PDS system in the state gets revamped and the people of the state benefit," said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to reporters here Friday.

"Rs.750 crore in a year is given as subsidy by the state government for items like rice, and today the situation is such that a kg of rice in the open market costs Rs.32. This is not acceptable, and that is why we are going hi-tech," said Chandy.

Under the PDS, every below poverty line card holder gets 25 kg rice at Re.one, and above poverty line card holder gets 10 kg of rice at Rs 8.90 per kg; an additional subsidised nine kilogram of rice would be made available for those holding APL cards for Rs two per kg, through the 14,260 ration shops.

The state government has decided that the subsidy amount of Rs.6.90 for each kilo of additional rice that the APL card holder gets will be credited into the bank account of the card holder from January next year, Chief Minister Chandy said.