Consumption of PDS rice and wheat, too, increase
Purchase of kerosene through the public distribution system (PDS) has registered a sharp increase in a period of five years, from 2004-05 to 2009-10, according to the report of the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO). Data shows that purchase of rice, wheat/flour, and sugar from PDS outlets is also rising but it is the consumption of kerosene that has increased the most in both rural and urban India. Dependence on milk from cattle reared at home and home-grown cereals like rice, wheat and pulses are, meanwhile, on the decline, the data shows.
Consumption of kerosene through PDS was 86.3 per cent in rural areas and 63.6 per cent in the urban areas in 2009-10. Its consumption was only 9 per cent in rural areas and 7 per cent in urban areas in 2004-05, which means an increase of 77.3 per cent and 56.6 per cent respectively. Consumption of kerosene through PDS is lowest in urban Punjab at 23.5 per cent and highest in Kerala at 90 per cent, the data shows.
NSSO prepared the report on the basis of information collected during 2009-10 from 100,794 households in 7,426 villages and 5,263 of urban blocks across the country, excluding interior villages of Nagaland, which are more than five km from a bus route, villages in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which remain inaccessible throughout the year, Leh (Ladakh), Kargil and Poonch of Jammu & Kashmir.
Data in the report shows increase in consumption of foodgrains also. Consumption of PDS wheat in rural areas doubled to 14.6 per cent in 2009-10. At the same time, its consumption in urban areas rose from 3.8 per cent to 9 per cent. Consumption of PDS rice increased from 13 per cent to 23.5 per cent in rural areas and from 11 per cent to 18 per cent in urban areas in the same five-year period. The increase indicates better access to PDS. The increased preference for PDS commodities may also indicate that people are being pushed to subsidised food because of increasing market prices of food commodities.
Major states where purchase of rice through PDS is very high are: Tamil Nadu (91 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (84 per cent), Karnatka (75 per cent) and Chhattisgarh (67 per cent), followed by Kerala and Maharastra. States where wheat consumption in rural areas are high are: Madhya Pradesh (46 per cent), Maharastra (44 per cent) and Gujarat (35 per cent).
Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, where rice is a staple diet, have the highest PDS wheat consumption in the country—69 per cent and 57 per cent respectively.
Though Bihar is a relatively poor state, purchase of both wheat and rice through PDS is rather low, data in the NSSO report shows.
Consumption of PDS sugar was highest in Tamil Nadu (rural: 86 per cent, urban: 78 per cent), followed by Andhra Pradesh (rural: 57 per cent, urban: 32 per cent), Chhattisgarh (rural:54 per cent, urban: 31 per cent), Assam (rural: 53 per cent, urban: 27 per cent) and rural Karnataka (47 per cent).
The incidence of PDS purchase is very low in both rural and urban areas of Punjab, Bihar and Rajasthan, Haryana and Jharkhand, the data shows.
Home grown food consumption on decline
Meanwhile, the consumption of home grown rice dropped from 30 per cent to 25 per cent and that of wheat dropped 40 per cent to 37 per cent in five years. Even dependency on home grown pulses decreased between 3 to 5 per cent. The share of home produced milk dropped by 3 per cent.
The share of home produce was fairly low in Kerala (1.6 per cent), Tamil Nadu (5 per cent), and Andhra Pradesh (9 per cent). It was the highest in Assam (49 per cent), folllowed by Uttar Pradesh (47 per cent), Madhya Pradesh (42 per cent), Haryana (41 per cent) and Rajsthan (39 per cent).
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