The food procured by FCI is supplied to the poor through the ration shops which have been set-up in most of the localities, villages, towns and cities. This is a part of the Public Distribution System (PDS) which is the most important step taken by the government towards ensuring food security in the country.
But recently, many problems have crept up in the functioning of the ration shops.
(i) The quality of the rationed articles issued to the poor is much less than what it should be. As a result, the poor have to depend on the market for their needs.
(ii) Some of the ration shop dealers resort to malpractices. They illegally divert the grains to the open market for better gains.
(iii) Some of the ration shop dealers sell only poor quality of grains.
(iv) Some dealers do not open their shops regularly and the poor people cannot draw their ration quota timely.
(v) Still others weigh less and cheat the illiterate poor.
(vi) Some ration shops are unable to sell their poor quality grains, which become a great headache for FCI.
(vii) With the introduction of colour coded cards and three different, prices for the same articles to different categories of people, the whole system of PDS has become more complicated.
(viit) The APL card holders get very little discount at the ration shops because of which they have lost their interest to buy these articles from the ration shops.