Smart cards to replace ration cards in Haryana

Written by State Bureau | Chandigarh, Aug 28 | Updated: Aug 30 2008, 05:22am hrs
A revised Rs 153.27 crore comprehensive road map for replacing the 52 lakh paper based ration cards in Haryana with smart cards under a pilot project is ex-pected to get the central government's nod soon.

The revised proposal was forwarded to the centre earlier this month. With the implementation of the project, Haryana will become the first state in the country, along with Union territory of Chandigarh, to introduce smart cards for the public distribution system (PDS).

A spokesman for Haryana State Electronic Development Corporation , the nodal agency for the implementation of the project in the state, says according to the detailed project report (DPR) prepared by the corporation about 52 lakh eligible families in the state would be issued the smart cards as per their category. The monthly entitlements of these families will be stored in the card and all the transactions at the fair price shop (FPS) would be performed only on the production of the card by one of the authorized members of the family. Finger print templates of the authorized members would also be stored in the card to ensure that the transaction happens only in the presence of the beneficiary.

Under the project, all district food and supply offices, fair price shop owners, Confed and FCI centres will be provided with a smart transaction terminal (STT) which will serve as a single integrated device to perform sales transactions. The device will be capable of authenticating the card and finger print of the consumer. It will also generate receipt of the transaction once successfully performed. The transporters will also be able to transfer stock to the FPS owner only on the production of these cards at the depot.

However, the whole system of smart card based PDS will not work in isolation, or in offline mode. It will be adequately supported at the assistant food and supply office (AFSO) level by a centralized online PDS application for Management Information System, (MIS), analysis and quick decision making.

The spokesman says among the benefits accruing from the introduction of smart cards will be timely and need based allocation, prevention diversion of essential commodities.