New Delhi, March 11: Government aims to computerise the PDS sector to help check pilferages and plug leakages by installing electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) devices at all fair price shops across the country by March 2017.
Government has also started a pilot project linking the PDS with Aadhar card under Direct Benefit Transfer scheme in Puducherry, Chandigarh and in urban areas of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and, depending upon its success, it will be extended across the country to help remove corruption in PDS, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan told the Rajya Sabha.
"There are a total of 5.35 lakh Fair Price shops across the country and government has installed 91,000 electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) devices till March 2016. "Government intends to achieve a target of installing three lakh such devices to computerise fair price shops by March 2017.
The aim is to fully computerise all 5.35 lakh fair price shops by March 2019 by installing such ePoS devices," Paswan said during Question Hour. Replying to supplementaries, the Minister said depending upon the success of the pilot project, it will be introduced across the country only after there is 100 per cent success to plug all leakages.
Paswan said "a total of 3.75 lakh bogus ration cards have been detected and I assure you that if not 100 per cent, 99 per cent leakages and corruption would be removed in PDS system once ePoS devices are introduced and fair price shops computerised."
He also said that Food Security Act has been implemented in 30 states from 11 earlier. Asked about the cost of such e-PoS, the Minister said it costs around Rs 20,000 and there are different provisions to install them as states can also do so by buying such devices.
He said a total sum of Rs 884 crore has been earmarked and the Centre will spend a total of Rs 879 crore while states will spend Rs 393 crore under the scheme.
"A total of Rs 315 crore has been released to states already for computerisation of PDS system. While states and Centre shares the expenditure of installing such devices in 50:50 ratio and 90:10 in northeastern states," he said.