Centre asks states to modernise ration shops

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New Delhi, May 12: To check leakage and diversions in PDS schemes, the Centre has asked states governments to modernise ration shops and make them consumer friendly.

Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan today said from computerization of Public Distribution System (PDS) to digitalising ration cards and installation of biometic devices are at different stages of completion.

 ramvilaspaswan

"The centre is continuously pursuing state governments to make PDS modern and consumer friendly, a project with the cost of Rs 884 crore has been taken up for computerization.

Significant achievements have been made so far," Paswan said in the meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee. For checking of leakage and diversions, the Center is also pursuing with states and union territories to automate Fair Price Shops (FPSs) by stalling biometric devices, he said in a statement.

"So far, more than 1,11,772 FPSs have been automated across the country, and this count is likely to be increased to 3,06,526 FPSs by March, 2017," he added. The minister said states have been asked to seed Aadhaar numbers in Ration Card database. "At present overall seeding stands at 54.79 per cent at the national level."

The meeting was attended by Members of Parliaments including Ram Prasad Sarmah, Ramesh Chander Kaushik, Balwinder Singh Bhunder and Bhupinder Singh. Participating in the discussion, MPs said grievance redressal system should be strengthened, elected representatives should also be given due representation in the district level committees to monitor PDS, an official statement said.

In order to make PDS system totally transparent, Paswan said that the government is implementing end-to-end computerization of PDS operation.

"As a result a large number of bogus ration cards have been eliminated by the states during last two years which has enabled better targeting of about Rs 10,000 crore worth foodgrains," he said.

Paswan also shared that ration cards have been completely digitised in all states and card details are made available on portal of all states.

Besides, foodgrains are being allocated online to ration dealers in 25 States, supply-chain has been computerized in 12 states/UTs and online grievance redressal facility or toll-free helpline have been started in all States/UTs

PTI 

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