Buy electronic weighing machines for ration shops from ePoS savings: Centre to States

The Centre wants States to start linking the electronic Point of Sale devices (ePoS) used at ration shops to electronic weighing machines to promote transparency and reduce foodgrain leakages. It wants States to pay for these machines by using the ₹17 per quintal margin already provided for Fair Price Shops (FPS) for installing and using ePoS machines, according to an amendment of the National Food Security Act rules last week.

According to the rules, ₹17 per quintal of foodgrain sold through ePoS is provided as “Fair Price Shop dealers margin” and is meant to go “towards the cost of purchase, operation and maintenance of the point of sale device, its running expenses and incentive for its use.”

The amendment, notified on June 18, adds the words “and any savings if accrued could be utilised for purchase, operations and maintenance of electronic weighing scales and their integration with the Point of Sale device”.

When asked how savings could accrue from money paid as an incentive to FPS dealers, Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey clarified that the additional margin is only being paid to States according to actual expenditure. As technology is evolving fast, it is now cheaper to operate ePoS than it was earlier, and States which are able to cut operating costs can now use the extra money to integrate weighing machines, he said.

The amendment comes in the midst of the Centre’s running battle with the Delhi government over its failure to instal ePoS devices.

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 3:50:42 PM |

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