The system of distribution of food procured by the FCI through government regulated ration shops among the poorer sections of the society is called Public Distribution System.
PDS has proved to be the most effective instrument of government policy towards ensuring food security. But in recent year the role of PDS has declined.
Factor that led to decline of PDS are
(i) Earlier PDS was universal, but over the years various government policies have made it more targeted with focus on special target groups.
(ii) The instances of prevalent hunger despite over flowing granaries shows the failure of PDS.
(iii) The marked inefficiency of PDS has led poor to depend on markets rather than the ration shops, for their food needs.
(iv) Mai practices by PDS dealers by diverting the grains to open market to get better margins and selling poor quality grains at ration shops or by irregular opening of the shops etc.
(v) Increase in stock of unsold grains in ration shops due to poor quality.
(vi) Unability of ration shops in selling the stocks leads to piling up of massive stock of food grain with FCI.
There all factors, over the years, has caused in decline of PDS in the country.