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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF PANCHAYATI RAJ
LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO: 2560
ANSWERED ON:  14.12.2021
PDS and e-Governance in PRIs
Nayab Singh
Will the Minister of



PANCHAYATI RAJ be pleased to state:-


(a) whether the Government has taken concrete steps to improve the quality of Public Distribution System (PDS) and e-governance in Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and if so, the details thereof; and

(b) whether the Government has taken any steps to encourage the representation and participation of transgenders in the decision making of Panchayats and if so, the details thereof?


ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR PANCHAYATI RAJ

(SHRI KAPIL MORESHWAR PATIL)

(a) Yes Sir. Under Public Distribution System (PDS) reforms, Department of Food and Public Distribution implemented a scheme on ‘End-to-End computerization of Targeted PDS to improve the efficiency & transparency of the distribution of food grains system and to address other challenges, such as leakages and diversion of food grains, elimination of fake and bogus ration cards etc. Under this scheme, ration cards/beneficiaries database have been completely digitized in all States/UTs, transparency portal and online grievance redressal facilities/toll-free numbers have been implemented in all States/UTs, online allocation has been implemented in all States/UTs (except UTs of Chandigarh and Puducherry which have adopted DBT Cash Transfer scheme) and supply chain has been computerized in 31 States/UTs. Further, the Automation of Fair Price Shops (FPS) is also being done in all States/UTs by installing electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) devices at the FPSs for the distribution of food grains in a transparent manner(electronically) and for unique identification of genuine beneficiaries through biometric/Aadhaar authentication on the ePoS device. At present, out of 5.33 lakh FPSs, about 5.07 lakh (95.0%) of Fair Price Shops (FPSs) across the country have installed ePoS devices.

Under Digital India Programme, Ministry of Panchayati Raj is implementing e-Panchayat Mission Mode Project, in the country to revamp the functioning of Panchayats and to make them more transparent, accountable and effective. Ministry launched eGramSwaraj a simplified work-based Accounting application to address various aspects of Panchayat functioning viz. planning, accounting, budgeting. Further, Ministry has also integrated e-Gram SWARAJ with Public Financial Management System for Gram Panchayats to make real time payments to vendors/service providers. Currently, 2,58,695 Panchayati Raj Institutions (including District Panchayat, Block Panchayat, Gram Panchayat) have prepared Panchayat Development Plans for Financial Year 2021-22. Further, 2,31,162 Panchayati Raj Institutions have onboarded eGramSwaraj-Public Financial Management System Interface for 15th Finance Commission and 1,76,825Panchayati Raj Institutions have carried out online transactions.

(b) According to the seventh schedule, local government is a State subject. Article 243 of Part IX of the Constitution, which contains provisions dealing with Panchayat, does not differentiate amongst persons on the basis of their sex. Under Article 243D of the constitution provisions have been made for reservation of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Women. Legislatures of States have also been empowered to make provision for reservation of seats in any Panchayat or offices of Chairpersons in the Panchayats at any level in favour of backward class of citizens in terms of clause (6) of Article 243D of the constitution. Transgenders belonging to these categories are accordingly eligible to participate in the decision-making process of Panchayats.

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