July 6, 2018
In a step to eliminate furtive beneficiaries under the Public Distribution System (PDS), the Punjab government has launched statewide distribution of foodgrains under the smart ration card scheme through e-POS machines.
The state Food and Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu, while launching the scheme in the absence of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh during a state level function, said that a biometric supported electronic system would eradicate anomalies of the conventional public distribution system and decimate the probability of furtive beneficiaries. “A regime of total transparency in public distribution system has commenced,” said Ashu.
Ashu said, “The government has enhanced the margin money or commission of wheat distribution for Fair Price shop (FPS) owners from existing Rs. 25 to Rs. 50 per quintal whereby a payment of Rs. 40 crore would be made to the 16,000 fair price shop owners in the State.
“Government has fulfilled its promise and now it is the duty of fair price shop owners that they work with complete honesty and dedication for further improvement of the public distribution system. The government would further increase the margin money in future as well, depending upon the state’s financial health,” he said.
Pointing out the need to further increase the domain of public distribution, Ashu said that the Department was in talks with private players to facilitate supply of products of daily needs to consumers through fair price shops.
Gurdaspur MP Sunil Jakhar, congratulating the depot holders, said “Supply of sugar, tea leaves and pulses at subsidized rates would soon be implemented which would be a major price check mechanism. The enhancement in honorarium and wheat distribution through e-POS technology is another major step to streamline distribution system. The leakages have been plugged by the government and it is committed to ensure delivery of food grains to all genuine beneficiaries.”