GOVERNMENT OF KERALA PARTNERS WITH UN WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME ON TARGETED PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM REFORM
NEW DELHI – The Government of Kerala and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Thiruvananthapuram today, which paves the way for reforming the State’s Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS).
Under the agreement, WFP will partner with the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department of the Government of Kerala in the end-to-end computerisation of the TPDS in order to improve targeting of the subsidy and reduce leakages in the system. Under the overall objective to optimise the performance of the TPDS in Kerala, improving beneficiary convenience is an important focus area of the partnership. This includes improving service and accountability in the system. WFP will also work with the Government on liaising with potential partners to facilitate necessary support to accelerate the process of computerisation of the TPDS. Under the National Food Security Act, State Governments must ensure the right to subsidised food for all entitled beneficiaries through the TPDS.
Mr. Anoop Jacob, Minister for Food, Civil Supplies, Consumer Protection and Registration, Government of Kerala, greeted the agreement, stressing that the partnership will harness the strength and expertise of WFP in the area of food security with the Government of Kerala’s commitment and progressive initiative to reform the TPDS. “The partnership beckons an intervention that will remarkably change our Targeted Public Distribution System to ensure effective implementation of the National Food Security Act.”
WFP has been providing technical assistance to the Government of India in strengthening the national food-based social safety net, the TPDS, since 2007. After in-depth analysis of the mechanisms that lead to weaknesses in the system, WFP evaluated reform efforts across the country to identify best practices for the development of a comprehensive TPDS reform model that is adaptable to the varying contexts found across India. The reforms not only improve the efficiency of the programme but as a result also generate savings for the Government. WFP advocates for the savings generated to be reinvested into the system by improving the nutritional value of the food provided under the scheme.
The State Government of Kerala and WFP partnership for customising and implementing relevant elements of the WFP Best Practice Solution will be for duration of up to three years.
WFP Country Director a.i., Michael Jensen, underlined: “We are enthusiastic about this partnership in Kerala - the second state after Odisha - to endorse the WFP developed TPDS Best Practice Solution for the benefit of millions of people, who critically depend on the subsidised food. We are looking forward to supporting the Government of Kerala in the transformation of this important social safety-net towards more efficiency, convenience and transparency for all stakeholders.”
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