Delhi government Monday announced that it has digitized the public distribution system (PDS) as beneficiaries will receive their quota of ration through e-Point of Sale (e-PoS) devices from all 2,254 fair price shops.
The Consumer Affairs Minister Imran Hussain said the new system will have a robust mechanism for verification of beneficiaries through Aadhaar authentication, having features to monitor transactions online.
“The system will also provide portability under which a ration card holder can avail ration from any shop across Delhi. However, for availing this facility, the Biometric data of the beneficiaries must match the official record,” said Hussain.
The e-Pos devices have also been integrated with electronic weighing machine to ensure correct weight to the beneficiaries.
The State government decided to introduce the online PDS in August 2017.
He added that Delhi government is distributing specified food articles to the tune of 3.75 lakh quintals to 72.78 lakh beneficiaries per month under Targeted Public Distribution System as per National Food Security Act 2013.
However, distribution of food grains through e-POS devices at present is a test run and will be implemented only after successful completion of the test trial.
Under this system, distribution of 8 per cent cardholders of the total cardholders will be allowed offline in order to provide ease to the beneficiaries whose Aadhaar authentication either fails or who still do not possess Aadhaar cards.
In February 2017, the Centre made Aadhaar card mandatory for public distribution system applications under the National Food Security Act.
The state or UT government were asked to link the Aadhaar number with the beneficiary’s ration card or bank account within 30 days of receiving the information. Provisions were made for any member of “eligible households” to receive the benefits of the public distribution system as long as they have the mandatory Aadhaar number.