E-Pos for transparency in rationing system

January 05, 2018 11:25 pm | Updated January 31, 2018 10:42 am IST

The government has decided to install biometric electronic point of sale (E-Pos) machines in ration shops to ensure transparency in the public distribution system as enjoined in the National Food Security Act.

The pilot project will be launched in Karunagapally taluk covering 60 rations shops.

This will be scaled up to cover all ration shops in three months, Food and Civil Supplies Minister P. Thilothaman said.

He said in a statement here on Friday that the biometric E-Pos would prevent leakage at every stage in the public distribution system, ensuring that the benefits accrued to the actual beneficiaries, and help monitor movement of ration articles and functioning of ration shops through the web portal of the Civil Supplies Department.

The NFSA came into effect in Kerala from November 2016. After a protracted process for the identification of the priority sections, the final priority list was published for verification in March 2017. After this process, the department had completed 98% of the printing and distributed of ration cards to the beneficiaries.

He said the department had succeeded in identifying 2.47 lakh card holders as ineligible and excluded them from the priority list. It had also added 2.47 lakh beneficiaries to the priority list, the Minister said and added that the efforts to identify and include the real beneficiaries would continue.

The Minister said the government had already announced a remuneration package for ration shop owners that would ensure a minimum income of ₹16,000. The package would come into force along with establishment of E-Pos machines. The government would soon expand the articles that would be made available through the ration shops to include rice flour, Kera coconut oil, and other products.

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