Under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013, the coverage under TPDS has been delinked from the poverty estimates and shall extend at the all India level upto 75% of the rural population and upto 50% of the urban population. As per the above coverage and based on 2011 census population, the number of persons eligible for subsidised foodgrains under TPDS is estimated at about 81.35 crore. This information was given by the Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri Raosaheb Patil Danve in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.
The Minister said that evaluation studies of TPDS have shown that there are instances of improper targeting of the poor households and there are inclusion as well as exclusion errors. For allocation of foodgrains (rice and wheat) to States and Union Territories (UTs) under the existing Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), Department of Food and Public Distribution uses the number of Below Poverty Line (BPL) families based on 1993-94 poverty estimates of Planning Commission and the population estimates of Registrar General of India (RGI) as on 1st March 2000 or the number of such families actually identified and ration cards issued to them by State/UT Governments, whichever is less. As per these estimates, the total number of BPL families is 6.52 crore, which includes about 2.42 crore Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) families. As per the Public Distribution System (Control) Order, 2001, State/UT Governments are to review the lists of BPL/AAY families every year for the purpose of deletion of ineligible families and inclusion of eligible families.