Nashik, Jan 29 (UNI) Aiming to achieve twin objectives of women empowerment and curtailing corrupt practices in the Public Distribution System (PDS), the Maharashtra government has decided to give 1,100 new Fair Price Shops (FPS) in the district to Self-Help Groups (SHGs).
Briefing media persons here, State Food and Civil Supplies Minister Sunil Tatkare, who sanctioned the FPS to the women SHGs, said ''The Ministry has undertaken lot of efforts to uproot the corruption that many citizens complain about when it comes to supply of food grains, kerosene and domestic LPG cylinders. We have therefore decided to give the FPS to women SHGs, which will not only curtail such activities, but also help in women empowerment.'' In the entire Nashik revenue division, 2,300 such shops would be given to SHGs, he informed.
Lauding the pilot project of Home-Delivery of the foodgrains to the beneficiaries in villages undertaken by the Additional District Collector Shekhar Gaikwad, Mr Tatkare announced that the training for women SHGs would be imparted at Nashik in the second week of February.
In a major exercise carried out to locate illegal ration cards, he said as many as 26 lakh ration cards were found illegal and were suspended. Now, the government has planned to issue computerised ration cards to its consumers and the work, the Minister informed.
''A massive drive to issue computerised ration cards will be undertaken soon. Besides, entire restructuring of PDS is being undertaken and that includes the help of Global Positioning System (GPS) for tracking the movement of goods from the Food Corporation of India (FCI) godowns and the kerosene and domestic LPG cylinders from oil depots and companies till they reach the beneficiaries,'' Mr Tatkare said.
The use of bar codes and computerised billing system at the FPS will be introduced, which will help in computerised monitoring of everything in the PDS, he added.
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