BHUBANESWAR: With the Centre asking States to make social audit mandatory to foster transparency and accountability in the targeted public distribution system (PDS), the State Government is contemplating to engage the existing social audit committee for PDS scrutiny.
The Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department has sought views of Collectors on the participation of the existing social audit committees, which are monitoring MGNREGS works, in PDS operation.
Since gram panchayat is the grassroot level organisation and plays a key role in PDS operation, panchayats are required to scrutinise PDS functioning in their areas through social audit system.
“The existing social audit committee functioning for MGNREGS may inspect the PDS records of the fair price shops and report their findings to the gram sabha,” said a department letter to all Collectors.
The National Food Security Act has provision of social audit of PDS functioning to ensure transparency in distribution of foodgrains.
Meanwhile, the Centre has also asked States to set up vigilance committees at gram panchayat, block and district levels to ensure transparency in supply of foodgrains through ration shops.
The State Government launched the distribution of digitised ration cards under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) in the city last month. The State is in the process of launching the NFSA in all districts in phased manner which will cover about 3.26 crore people.