Rakesh Allu, Sarang Deo and Sripad DevalkarDownload PDF
- Andhra Pradesh is the first state in the country to have used Aadhaar ecosystem to introduce portability of PDS starting October 2015.
- Between March 2016 to November 2017, about 46% of Fair Price Shops (FPS) witnessed portability utilization in any given month.
- Beneficiaries used shops located in districts/mandals other than the ones they are residing in.
- Choice of a Fair Price Shop (FPS) among beneficiaries that utilized this functionality varied month on month.
- Usage of portability in urban areas was about 2 times higher in comparison to non-urban areas
Portability of entitlements is one of the key benefits of Aadhaar enabled Public Distribution System (AePDS). This functionality enables beneficiaries to claim their entitlements at any Fair Price Shop (FPS) within their state instead of being restricted to their registered shop. Such functionality has twofold benefits. First, it enables beneficiaries to choose an FPS based on their convenience. Second, it allows migrant workers to access their PDS entitlements at their place of work. However, utilization of this functionality depends on several factors such as awareness about portability, cooperation of FPS owners and availability of alternate FPS in the vicinity.
In this data brief, we analyse utilization patterns of portability in the state of Andhra Pradesh over a period of 20 months starting from March 2016 to November 2017.
We find substantial utilization of the functionality in all months during the observation period. Further, there is evidence of inter-district usage of portability with beneficiaries claiming their grain entitlements from FPSs located in a district different from the one that their registered FPS belongs to. Finally, utilization of portability seems to be higher in urban regions compared to non-urban regions.
Future studies should focus on understanding the influence of factors such as FPS owner incentives, grain replenishment policy and the density of FPSs, on the usage of portability. Such studies will help improve the implementation of this functionality in states where it is offered. In addition, studies should also aim to assess the costs incurred by the states in offering portability and measure the corresponding benefits reaped by the beneficiaries. Also, given that portability is being offered in only 4 states, these studies can help other state governments in deciding if they want to offer this functionality to their beneficiaries
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