The new systems being employed for monitoring transactions at fair price shops (FPSs) - which use electronic point of sale (ePoS) machines and Aadhaar-seeding to weed out of fictitious beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act - are helping reduce Center’s food subsidy bill by minimising the scope for manipulation, Financial Express has reported.
In Haryana, around a quarter of ration card holders have not turned up for collecting the provisions since June. The change was seen after 9,500 FPSs in the state started using ePoS machines and Aadhaar-seeding of ration cards was made mandatory. The introduction of these checks, the state government says, has reduced the scope for manipulation of records and diversion of grains meant for the public distribution system to the open market.
According to the head of Haryana’s Food Civil Supplies Department, additional chief secretary SS Prasad, 10 lakh out of around 40 lakh PDS beneficiaries have got their Aadhaar cards made and seeded with ration cards. “Compulsory Aadhaar seeding has made fake ration cards redundant,” Prasad has said
Rajasthan had reported a similar trend earlier. The list of beneficiaries in the state has got pruned by about 20 per cent after around 25,000 FPSs were equipped with ePoS systems in September last year. Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have also installed e-PoS machines in all FPSs and are expected to report similar results in the coming months.
Over 2.48 crore bogus ration cards have been eliminated in the country since 2013. This has led to potential savings of Rs 14,000 crore to the exchequer. Around 80 per cent of the total 23 crore ration cards in the country have been seeded with Aadhaar. Around 47 per cent or 2.45 lakh of the total 5.27 lakh FPSs in the country have installed ePoS machines, reducing the scope for manipulation.
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