1/3 food grain losses in PDS 'worrying' : Chidambaram

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New Delhi, Mar 17 (UNI) Stating that the loss of one-third of the foodgrains in the Public Distribution System was 'worrying', Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said the states will have to play an activie role in plugging the loopholes.

He said the loss estimate of foodgrains in the PDS was estimated to be in the order of 36.38 per cent and there were two reasons for this huge loss. The primary reason was ghost cards which ensured that the foodgrains never reached the PDS and the second reason was the inefficient handling of the grains that were available in PDS.

The states have a big role in the making the PDS sustainable because they had the departments empowered to identify the PDS depots, select the shopkeepers and supply them with grains. The Centre could only give the states the grains and it was the states who were accountable for ensuring efficiency of the PDS in the area.

''However the huge leakage is a worrying factor and we must keep a watch,'' he remarked.

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