Reviews progress on implementation of ePDS
JAMMU: Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumers Affairs (FCS&CA) & Tribal Affairs, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali on Thursday said the linkage of Aadhaar with Public Distribution System (PDS) has greatly helped in plugging pilferage of entitlements under National Food Security Act (NFSA).
The minister was speaking at a review meeting attended by Secretary FCS&CA Abdul Rashid, Director FCS&CA Rashid Azam Inqalabi, Director FCS&CA Kashmir Nasir Khan Wani, Additional Secretary Jugal Kishore Anand, Financial Advisor Zia Qazi, Deputy Directors and Assistant Directors of FCS&CA, representatives of NIC and M/S Linkwell Telesystems Pvt Ltd.
The meeting discussed various components of e-PDS system including online allocation of food grains, sale and transaction of food grains through PoS devices installed at Fair Price Shops (FPS), implementation of supply chain management (SCM) and Ration Card Management System, installations of POS machines, distribution of new ration cards and online grievance redress portal, read an official handout.
The minister said the development of Aadhaar based, web enabled-public distribution system (PDS) using PoS machines has brought transparency and accountability in the distribution of food grains.
“It has enabled end-to-end use of ICT ranging from ration card digitisation, Aadhaar seeding, commodity allocation to FPS, distribution to targeted beneficiaries, generation of reports & finally displaying all the data/statistics on the web portal thus greatly improving efficiency, transparency, minimising pilferages and ensuring timely distribution of ration to millions,” the minister said.
He said that with the electronic records captured by the POS machine, it has become very easy to access the data on entitlements received by each household. The cardholders can use this information to protect their food entitlements, he added.
Having made it mandatory, Zulfkar directed the concerned officers to ensure that the sale of food grains is undertaken through Point of Sale (PoS) machines in all FPS.
Reviewing the status of implementation of Supply Chain Management, the minister was informed that FCS&CA Kashmir has already implemented the first phase of the system successfully in all the 12 districts, while the process is in progress in Jammu province.
The minister asked the secretary to constitute a committee comprising Additional Secretary FCS&CA, representatives of NIC and M/S Linkwell to handle technical deficiencies, if any, in the operations through ePDS. He directed to monitor the online activities on daily and submit compliance report to the administrative department.
He asked the field functionaries to conduct inspections of FPSs in their respective districts to enforce employing modern electronic weighing machines for distribution of food grains and complete ban on usage of traditional kandas.
He said that strict action would be taken against the dealers and the enforcement officer(s) in case of violation of the directions.