It is suspected that the Public Distribution System in India has a howling black market in which store proprietors hike up monetary values mentioning scarceness in order to do more net incomes. Commodities sold by the stores are supplied and subsidized by the Government so that the people below Poverty line can purchase nutrient grain and kerosine at cheaper monetary values.

My research inquiry, “ What consequence do the imperfectnesss of the Targeted Public Distribution System ( TPDS ) have on the lives of the people it is aimed at in the metropolis of Dehradun? ” seeks to see the consequence on these people by looking into the working of the system turn outing the being of the black selling, rationing, line uping up and billboard every bit good as seeking to see where betterments can be made.

I took 5 stores in the metropolis of Dehradun in a Radius of approximately 8 kilometers which catered to the local population. I interviewed the proprietors and clients with standardised questionnaires and drew decisions from them every bit good as speaking informally to the store proprietors. This helped me cognize monetary values and interrupt up, larning about corruptness in Government channels.

I hypothesized that the imperfectnesss will hold a really negative consequence on the consumers but what I learnt contradicted my Hypothesis -the system still has an overall positive consequence on the consumers which is non negated by its imperfectnesss. Along with larning about the corrupt patterns of Government administrative officials and that the Black Market so exists as is gossiped about by every Indian, I besides developed a New Model to assist do the working of the TPDS more efficient and effort to streamline it. But the black market I proved may non be sufficiently substantiated as on oppugning the store proprietors may deny its being in order to salvage themselves from legal action.


India – the universe ‘s 12th largest economic system[ 1 ], bombinating afresh with trade name new promenades and retail ironss, athleticss autos and luxury belongingss, has come a long manner in footings of economic growing. But the really basic cloth of India is the common adult male, the people that have made it all possible. The high rises, the cutting border engineering, the eternal watercourse of people at the markets where everyone converges to purchase, all of it is inhabited by the common adult male. So how has the common adult male done in this rat race called the Economy? Has his criterion of life improved? That is why my research inquiry, “ What consequence do the imperfectnesss of the Targeted Public Distribution System ( TPDS ) have on the lives of the people it is aimed at in the metropolis of Dehradun? ” seeks to look into the workings of this complex yet alone system and whether its subsidies aimed at the Below Poverty Line people have been of any good.

The Targeted Public Distribution System started by the Government of India is a one of its sort in the whole universe. No other state but India has such a huge and dedicated distribution system taking to supply indispensable trade goods to its hapless at subsidised rates. Started in 1954[ 2 ], it has been an built-in portion of the Government ‘s attempt to supply nutrient to the hapless.

Huge as it may look, all is non good with TPDS. A big subsidy keeps the system traveling each twelvemonth, but this nutrient subsidy as a per centum of the entire govt. outgo has steadily risen from about 2.3 % in the beginning of the 1990s to about 3 % towards the terminal of the decennary, as shown in Table[ 3 ]on the following page.

The Public Distribution system is one of the Government ‘s chief societal steps intended at Economic Development. Economic Development[ 4 ]is an addition in the overall criterion of life of people in a state with better entree to instruction, wellness attention, employment and substructure.

There were a batch of people who are populating below poorness line in India, over 60,000,000[ 5 ]households. Poverty Line is a benchmark for poorness determined by the Government where if a individual earns below 800[ 6 ]rupees a month so he is below it. Another definition says that the individual must hold at least one square repast per twenty-four hours to be on par with the Poverty line.

Therefore, TPDS is a symbol of India ‘s committedness to bettering the lives of its hapless by giving them either the square repast or the means to do that square repast ( Kerosene ) .

Relevant Economic Theory and Hypothesis

The TPDS plants on two chief rules -Price Ceiling[ 7 ]and Subsidy[ 8 ]. A Price Ceiling occurs when the Government fixes an upper bound on the merchandising monetary value of a trade good to protect the consumer. A Subsidy occurs when a payment is made by the authorities to manufacturers of goods and services in order to convey down the monetary values of certain indispensable trade goods. This is intended to profit the hapless as they can acquire that they can afford to purchase necessary goods.

Monetary value Ceiling[ 9 ]( Figure 1 ) –

The interaction of Demand and Supply for a good causes its monetary value degree to be fixed at P. Since TPDS goods can be classified as necessities, the Demand Curve they face is comparatively monetary value inelastic. Therefore left to market forces, the providers will seek to bear down comparatively higher monetary values. But the authorities sees this and puts a monetary value control first which make the monetary value of the good cheaper than the market monetary value. Due to the monetary value control, as shown in Figure 1, there is an surplus of Demand Q1Q2 as shown by the shaded black part. This is called a deficit. Due to this deficit, there are many consequences-

Black Market[ 10 ]-The analogue market that exists where due to miss of supply ; the Sellerss of a merchandise purchase the merchandise cheaply at a subsidised monetary value and sell it to the clients at a higher monetary value.

Line uping up[ 11 ]– When there is scarceness of any good, so one signifier of distribution is when all the clients line up and take the good on a first semen foremost serve footing.

Rationing[ 12 ]– The provider sets an upper bound as the maximal sum each client can take of a merchandise.

Hoarding[ 13 ]– An illegal pattern in which the providers stock up the merchandise in order to make unreal scarceness, in order to bear down higher monetary values.

Subsidy[ 14 ]( Figure 2 ) –

To do it cheaper, the Government puts a subsidy that shifts supply to the right as it gives inducement for the manufacturers to provide more to gain more entire gross. This subsidy benefits the consumers as they get the lower monetary value at P1 and therefore it makes the necessities more low-cost. Besides the increased supply indicates that more people get the benefit of the subsidy.

The inquiry arises that if a Black Market exists, possibly because of the deficiency of supply in comparing to Demand, there could be Line uping up, Rationing and Hoarding. If all these characteristics occur, so it can be believed that it will be harmful for the intended consumers traveling against the very dogmas of the Public Distribution System because the consumers will non acquire the full benefit of the system.

The hypothesis could be that if Black Marketing, Line uping up, Rationing and Hoarding do happen in the TPDS, so these activities would impact the consumer in a really inauspicious mode. The five parts of this Hypothesis have been investigated utilizing the Methodology.

Methodology, Processing and Evaluation of Raw Data

TPDS is a really large organisation that has mercantile establishments all over India. It is impossible to study all of the stores it has as they are prevailing in their 1000s. The country in Dehradun focused on is Malsi, Rajpur and Sinola and within a radius of 8 kilometers, there were five stores.

The manner the studies were conducted was utilizing Oral questionnaires in informal interviews with both store proprietors and clients so all the primary information was collected through these interactions. A matrix called The Hypothesis Checklist[ 15 ]has been created in order to sufficiently turn out all the parts of the Hypothesis.

Raw Data

How the TPDS plants ( in Dehradun ) –

Grains are procured by the Cardinal Government under the protections of the Department of Food and Public Distribution.

They are so transported to the provinces, in this instance, the State of Uttrakhand.

Then they go to transport nagar, a hub for all incoming goods into the town of Dehradun.

The store proprietors pay for the transit of grains to their stores.

They distribute the merchandises to the card holders.

All card holders can come any clip but merely one time a month to take what is allotted to them.

There are other strategies implemented by TPDS stores for the Government that are provided by some of the stores that were portion of this essays study.

1. Antodaya Anna Yojana[ 16 ]( Food grain Scheme ) –

This is a strategy of the Government targeted at card holders who are Below Poverty Line ( BPL ) .This aims to supply them cheap subsidized nutrient grain – Rice @ 3 rupees and Wheat @ 2 Rupees per kg. This strategy is merely for choice BPL households which are the poorest of the hapless.

2. Bal Poshar Yojana[ 17 ]( Mid Day Meal Scheme ) –

This strategy aims to supply free tiffin to school kids in Government owned and run Primary schools so that it encourages highly hapless people to direct their kids to school. The nutrient is supplied to the schools by the Shop Owners, who give the grains every twenty-four hours to cooks to do repasts for kids.

Answers to the Questions on the Shop Owner Questionnaire[ 18 ]

Note – These replies have been generalized as all the proprietors gave about homogenous answers.

Answer 1. The people who come to the stores are those classified below and above poorness line. Since poorness line is defined as the income degree between 800 to 900 rupees a month, the people who come to purchase rations acquire them at different monetary values harmonizing to whether they are above or below poverty line.

Answer 2. The client needs to be a Card Holder in order to buy goods from a PDS store. APL clients are issued Yellow Card games and BPL clients are issued White cards. 1 card is entitled to retreat at maximal 23.5 Kilograms of Rice or 11.5 Kilograms of Wheat or both of them, their amount weighing up to a upper limit of 23 Kilograms. Normally, a whole household is entitled to one ration card. The entitlement to Kerosene per card is –

Answer 3. The quality of Rice, Sugar, Wheat and Kerosene is functional and toothsome but basic. Compared to the quality of rice, sugar and wheat in the market, the quality of these three goods is comparatively hapless.

Answer4.The monetary values of the merchandises have gone up between the construct in 1954 and now but this is because of the depreciation of the value of the India currency. Harmonizing to the store proprietors, in footings of buying power the current 6 rupee net income border per hundred kg has remained the same as it was since 1954, so there has been no benefit to the store proprietors even though there has been an aggregative rise in monetary values.


Costss and Net incomes of the Shop Owners[ 19 ]

Answer 6.The Government gives licences to the proprietors of the PDS stores to let them to sell Government goods. Sometimes, they even take payoffs to manus out these licences. Apart from this, the Cardinal Government procures the grain from husbandmans all over India and the Kerosene from outstanding Indian Oil companies like Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum. The State Government procures the goods from Central Depots and Granaries. But they do non transport the goods to the stores from their ain storage countries. These storage countries are managed by the Regional Food Controller, from the Department of Food and Public Distribution. Alternatively, they leave it up to the stores itself. Therefore this leads to the excess transit costs incurred by the proprietors of Rs. 25 per Quintal. Besides at the State Depot, the functionaries there insist on “ proper ” weightage before distribution. The weightage cost is Rs. 0.50 or 50 paisa per quintal. ( 1 Rupee = 100 Paisa ) . Therefore in the metropolis of Dehradun, the State Government of Uttrakhand is of no aid to the store proprietors, instead, it adds to their jobs.

Answer 7. In Dehradun, the Hub of PDS goods is TRANSPORT NAGAR, which is about 15 kilometers off from the country where the stores are located. Therefore, in add-on to the transit costs, the store proprietors have to cover with the wastage of clip, the indifference of the functionaries and the deficits caused by the packaging jobs. Harmonizing to the store proprietors, the wadding of the bags is done by machines and the bags are non handled decently. Therefore, sometimes, the weightage is flawed as one or two kgs are losing from a one quintal bag of rice or wheat. Besides, when it comes to kerosene, the Government lacks the proper equipment to mensurate the measure in liters right. So a batch of goods tend to acquire destroyed or wasted. There is besides a uncertainty about the honestness of the functionaries as some of the goods that come to depot may be taken by them for personal usage or sold for higher monetary values outdoors. There is besides talk of big sums of grain prevarication in the garners, ne’er to be used. This is because of improper direction that most of the clip the good ne’er even reaches the store in the right measure, therefore, due to this bureaucratism ; the terminal consumer does non acquire the good. Besides, happening a deficit in the bag of grain, the store proprietor is forced to sell it at a higher monetary value as if there are 98 kgs in a 100 kg bag ; this deficit leads to the grain non making the store in the needed measure.

Answer8. The demand for goods is more than the supply. This is non because there is a non adequate being produced by the Agrarian Economy in India or that the Government is non being able to secure it from the manufacturers. In fact some store keepers mentioned that more is produced than can even be consumed. The job occurs at the go-downs of the Government where the grain is packed in jute bags and left for a long period of clip. Due to plagues and cryings in the bags, big measures of grain are wasted. Fungal infestations and the work of bacteriums besides decompose the grain. Thus a batch of grain is wasted off at topographic points like Transport Nagar. So the Demand for Goods outstrips the supply due to wastage.

Answer9. Customers are allowed to come merely one time a month in order to pick up their public-service corporation goods. They can come in any order they wish, any clip in the month, though the stores follow certain timings and on Tuesdays they are shut. So it can be said that Line uping up does occur as it works “ First Come First Serve ” . The individual foremost in line gets what he wants and yet can take a limited sum as shown by what one Ration Card can retreat. This bound can be called Rationing. Hoarding does happen as because of a deficiency of supply from the Government due to wastage, the store proprietors keep a batch of extra stock with them and raise monetary values ( Black Marketing ) . Therefore, harmonizing to the Shop Owners, all these characteristics occur.

Answers to the Questions on the Consumer Questionnaire[ 20 ]

Since it is non possible to compose down everything that clients of the stores interviewed said, the replies have been generalized to organize a just image of their state of affairs[ 21 ]

Answer1.The consumer normally buys a batch of rice as rice is the primary beginning of energy in a family of Dehradun. The 2nd is of class wheat, and the measure bought is normally balanced as Indians tend to eat both every bit on alternate yearss. Sugar is comparatively expensive ; it can be compared to market monetary values. Kerosene is one essentialness to be bought if a individual does non utilize LPG cylinders or if that individual has merely one cylinder. The lone supply concatenation that distributes Kerosene in India is the TPDS. No other company or person has the right to sell it. So, the TPDS has Monopoly over the supply of Kerosene. Thus, the people have no pick but to travel to the TPDS to purchase kerosene.

Answer2. The monetary values of the merchandise offered to them are comparatively just, as they are cheaper than the market monetary values by at least 5 rupees per kg. Merely the monetary value of sugar is about comparable to the predominating market monetary value. Overall, the price reduction given to the clients benefits them.

Answer3. They clients save about rupees three hundred per month by purchasing merchandises from the Ration store.

Answer4. Ever since the ration store was conceived, the monetary values have remained about the same and non been affected by rising prices, Besides, the monetary values of the ration store are comparatively inexpensive compared to the market monetary value. So the consumers have no job with the monetary values at the store every bit long as they get some benefit.


Most of the clients thanks to the subsidy run into their basic nutrient demand.

Out of 42 people, 31 said they were happy with the sum they got.


All clients are allowed to see the store merely one time a month. Sometimes they need to queue-up to acquire rations.

Answer7. Most of the people who bought from the stores were those who migrated into urban and sub urban countries from the environing rural countries for better economic chances.

Data Evaluation

As per the information above, four trade goods are sold by the stores. To demo what happens to them and contract the focal point of the essay down, the Example of a Subsidy on Wheat has been taken-

Cost to Government per Kilogram – Rs. 10.50

Selling Price – Rs. 6.60

Subsidy – Rs. 3.90

Figure 3 ( Subsidy on Wheat )[ 22 ]

Theoretically, the Subsidy of Rs. 3.90 should travel wholly to the manufacturer since the monetary value is comparatively inelastic. But over here what happens is that 3.90 rupees really goes to pervert Government functionaries who eat up that money. So the benefit of the subsidy neither goes to the manufacturer nor the marketer. But the consumers benefit from lower monetary values.

Proving the being of the Black Market[ 23 ]

A inactive theoretical account has been taken. It assumes that the Price and Output will increase linearly. ( Figure 4 )








Transportation system costs of proprietors –

25 rupees per 100 kg ( Quintal )

Weight age costs – Rs. 00.50 per 100 kg

Net income border that the Government keeps per Kilo –

Rs. 0.50 Or 50 rupees per hundred kgs

Net income border the store proprietors get –

Rs. 0.06 or 6 rupees per quintal

Money eaten up by Government –

44 rupees per quintal

Selling Price of the Government= Rs. 6.60 per Kilo

Cost Price = Rs. 6.54 per Kilo or 654 per Quintal

+ 0.50 Weight age per Quintal

+ Transport = 25 rupees per Quintal

Actual Sum Costss per Quintal for the Shop Owner –

654 + 25 + .50 = Rs. 679.50.

The Shops have to sell at 680 ( Rounded away ) to interrupt even they need to sell at 680.The Government does non pay for Transport.

The store proprietors are entitled to 50 rupees of 660 but they merely get 6. So 44 rupees of their net income is gone. So consequently, they need to sell at 660 +20 to interrupt even at 680 and so 50 rupees more to do net income. So they sell at 680 +50 = 730 to do net income.

The Black Market Selling Price of wheat is Rs. 730 per quintal alternatively of 660 per quintal as fixed by the Government.

Black Marketing occurs for all other merchandises sold by the stores.

Line uping up –

The store keepers say that they distribute the goods throughout the month but it is first come foremost function, so people have to line up up at the store every twenty-four hours. If the stock coatings, so those left in the waiting line will non have the merchandise.


The fact that there is rationing is due to the bounds imposed on the sum that can be bought per household. This is besides due to limited supply. For Eg, there is a bound of 21.45 kgs on Wheat.


The store proprietors themselves said that the Government has immense sum of excess lying waste in garners. So, to maintain the supply changeless and at the same clip charge higher monetary values, they take to stashing excess stock.

The Hypothesis Checklist[ 24 ]

Part Of Hypothesis



Black Market

As proved for the raised monetary value of wheat.

Line uping Up

As shown by the manner the system works, first semen, foremost service.


As shown by the bounds on goods per household ( Limit of 21.45 kilogram on Wheat purchase per household ) .


As told by the tradesmans themselves.

Overall Adverse Consequence On the Consumer

The overall consequence on the consumer is inauspicious. This is incorrect as all the consumers interview said that they were happy every bit long as the monetary values stay below market monetary value.


As per the Hypothesis, the being of the Black Market, Hoarding, Line uping Up and Rationing was proved. But even with these imperfectnesss, the portion of the Hypothesis which says that the consumers would be adversely affected was proved incorrectly as they are absolutely happy every bit long as the monetary values they buy indispensable trade goods at are below the Market Price.

For the metropolis of Dehradun, it can be said that TPDS has benefitted the people as since they earn relatively higher than rural countries around them they feel that they are acquiring goods cheaply which reduces their life costs.

Even with the Black Market, the monetary value is low. As for waiting to acquire the good, it is a affair of fortune whoever comes foremost should take it.

There is Market Failure due to subsidy. The Government functionaries are corrupt ; many are acquiring rich thanks to incorrect agencies.

As for the Shop Owners it can be said that they suffer the most. They are forced to pay higher costs and payoffs to Government functionaries. This forces them to Blacken Market to gain net income, if non merely to interrupt even. And if they caught, they are worse off as they have to pay off even more.

The chief job that there is in the TPDS is non about Supply or Demand. It is about the Manipulation of Supply. Huge stocks are lying wasted in Government garners. The Shop proprietors hoard stock to fix themselves for deficits in supply.

The agriculturalists and kerosine providers have small inducement to bring forth as they do non acquire the benefit of the subsidy as the Government chows it up.

If reforms have to be made to better the efficiency of the system, they should be from the Supply and Administrative side.

Therefore it can be said that TPDS even with all its imperfectnesss has had an overall positive impact on the lives of the people it is targeted at in the metropolis of Dehradun.

Possible Flaws in Methodology[ 25 ]

1. Peoples largely from Primarily Urban or Suburban countries were taken. Many people below Poverty line were non surveyed as they can non be included as portion of Dehradun as Dehradun is relatively wealthier.

2. The store proprietors interviewed will non attest on record against the Government and state openly about the corruptness and Black Market in fright of Legal Action and Public Backlash. They merely revealed this much information after a batch of wheedling.

3. The Black Market monetary values quoted here are estimated. Costss are existent. This is as the monetary values are dynamic and capable to seasonal demand and supply.

Recommendations for TPDS[ 26 ]

1. Items other than rice and wheat should be excluded from the system. Well to make households are drawn to the TPDS if sugar is supplied through it.

2. Coarse grains, which are basic trade goods purchased by the hapless are in any instance available to the hapless at low monetary values and should non be supplied under PDS and brought under the screen of nutrient subsidy. However, high quality green goods should be brought under subsidy.

3. There is a big scale recreation of Kerosene oil which is supplied under the PDS and benefits meant for the hapless ne’er reach them. Subsidized Kerosene is used for Adulteration with Diesel. Subsidy on kerosine should be reduced and alternate agencies of selling should be explored.

4. TPDS should merely be aimed at people below poorness line. There is no point of nutrient subsidy for people who have buying power.

Existing Model[ 27 ]

Created Model[ 28 ]

Explanation of Created Model

APL consumers should non be entitled to subsidise goods as they can afford to purchase them on the market.

Food grain will be straight procured by the State Government. This will take to the stimulation of local husbandmans to sell in the local market salvaging transit costs. The Government now needs to secure less as they do non sell to APL consumers. Since the Government is anyhow passing immense sums of gross on subsidy presently, under Cardinal Government directives, it can concentrate on purchasing less measure but better quality grain from productive husbandmans and subsidising it through TPDS stores to BPL consumers at lower monetary values.

The Cardinal Government should put up a new bureau to secure Kerosene from oil companies and sell it subsidized through TPDS to BPL consumers. For APL consumers, there will be guidelines so that the monetary value is non high. When husbandmans become cognizant that the Government is subsidising the production of good nutrient grain, they will switch from low to high quality production turning harvests with high food content. Competition will take to an overall autumn in monetary value extinguishing range for black selling profiting all consumers every bit good as function the Government purpose of selling healthy nutrient to better the human resource of its state.


Glanville, Alan: Glanville Books Ltd. , 33 Five Mile Drive, Oxford. OX2 8HT, United Kingdom: Economicss from a Global Perspective, 2nd Edition, reprinted August 2007.

Government of India: Planning Commission, Public Distribution and Food Security, Chapter 8.





Apart from these mentions, the remainder of the informations presented is original primary research.