Public Distribution System loopholes to be plugged

Public Distribution System loopholes to be plugged

In this connection, it has made it mandatory to make the card holder to come to the fair price shop personally if he wants the essential food...

Nizamabad: The State government has decided to take several measures to tighten the Public Distribution System (PDS) and prevent irregularities in using the State Food Securities Card (Ration Card).

In this connection, it has made it mandatory to make the card holder to come to the fair price shop personally if he wants the essential food commodities like rice, sugar and kerosene oil.

A biometric machine will also be installed at every shop on which the card holder has to punch. Otherwise, the commodities will be sent back. The Civil Supplies Department is gearing up for the changes.

In this connection, the civil supplies department is also mulling of introducing the e-passbook system in the districts of Telangana State also after it was introduced on an experimental basis in Hyderabad. As part of the e-pass book policy, biometric method will be introduced.

As a result, 15 percent of the total rice could be saved from being wasted unnecessarily. Besides, the government could also save Rs 2.25 crore annually.

The PDS was setup to cater to the needs of the poor and each person will 6 kg of rice every month at Re 1 per kg. Although the State government was incurring losses, it did not do away with the programme and continues to spend crores of Rupees on it as it is a social welfare measure.

However, irregularities keep cropping up while implementing this programme through fair price shops though preventive mesrues were taken. Large quantities of rice are being smuggled out from these shops without any check.

There are a total of 2.46 lakh food security cards in the district and 550 metric tonnes of rice were being supplied in 578 fair price shops. Even though the beneficiaries are not purchasing the rice in some areas of the district, it is still being released on their names while others are purchasing it.

With the introduction of the biometric e-passbook system in Hyderabad and other district fair price shops, the beneficiary has to come to the shop and collect his food items.

Their thumb impression was takne while issuing the Aadhaar card earlier and this thumb impression would be linked to the biometric system.

Another important security measure that the government will take is the setting up of closed circuit camera system near the shops to identify the offenders and their activities. The officials hope that with these measures, the irregularities would definitely be reduced at the fair price shops.

R Bhoopathi

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