Ration card holders will now have an option to buy ration from any fair price shop in the city with the Delhi government today announcing portability scheme in public distribution system. The food and civil supplies department today started distributing ration through point of sale device (PoS) at all 2,254 fair-price shops on a month-long trial basis. Food and Civil Supplies Minister Imran Hussain said that after the trial run, the government may consider a complete roll out of the facility from February. At present, the government is distributing specified food articles to the tune of 3.75 lakh quintals to 72.78 lakhs beneficiaries per month in the national capital. “The department has implemented ration portability scheme under which ration card holders can buy ration from any of 2,254 fair-price shops with complete shifting to PoS device. “For availing this facility, the biometric data of the beneficiaries must match the official record,” Hussain told reporters here. He also said that the new system will have a robust mechanism for verification of beneficiaries through the Aadhaar authentication, having features to monitor transactions online.
The e-Pos devices have also been integrated with electronic weighing machine to ensure correct weight to the beneficiaries. “Under this system, distribution of eight per cent of the total card holders will be allowed off line in order to provide ease to the beneficiaries whose Aadhaar authentication either fails or who still do not possess Aadhaar cards,” the minister also said.
Apart from this, he also announced the department’s proposal to increase the margin money for fair-price shop owners from Rs 70 per quintal to Rs 200 per quintal (from 70 paisa per kg to Rs two per kg), which is under active consideration of the government. The proposal will soon be tabled in the Cabinet meeting for the approval.
According to Hussain, there was a long pending demand of fair price shop owners for increasing the margin money in order to enable them bear the costs of running FPS on account of wages payment, rent of the shop, shortage incurred during retail distribution, electricity charges and reasonable commission/profit to make FPS operation sustainable and viable.