State to set up a biometric system based point of sales machines in all fair price shops; POS machines already installed at 54 fair price shops
PANJIM: A thumb impression is what a ration card holder will soon have to produce to receive the quota of commodities at fair price shops in Goa. To cut pilferage in the public distribution system (PDS), the State government is setting up a biometric system based point of sales (POS) machines in all 442 fair price shops latest by August.
Linkwell Telesystems Ltd has been awarded the contract to install ePOS machines, which will be linked to a central server, which will help the Department of Civil Supplies get exact details of the items sold in each fair price shop and the balance remaining.
The use of biometrics is part of nationwide project to digitise PDS operations. The POS machine provides real time details about
ration. At present there is no system to check the real time details of ration in PDS shops during the month end.
Civil Supplies Minister Govind Gaude said that POS machines will be installed at all fair price shops latest by August 5, after which, those who purchase the commodities will have to give a thumb impression on the machine and get their quota. “We have already installed the POS at 54 fair price shops so far. It is part of Central government initiative,” he said.
Once a thumb impression is given, it authenticates the biometric details of the ration card holder before generating the bill. It will also send information to the central server so that there is no scope for pilferage, the Minister said.
Currently there exist the possibilities of shop owner selling the remaining food items to others at a higher price, instead of distributing it to the beneficiaries. “With the installation of POS machines, as soon as any person gets the ration in the shop, the data is immediately sent to the server and uploaded on the website,” Gaude said adding that he will keep close monitoring of the system.
“Once the machines are installed, authorities will get exact details of the items sold in ration shops and also the total quantity received by each beneficiary. There will be no scope of diversion of food items by shop owners. There will be no scope for malpractices or black marketing,” the Minister added.
Gaude said that the fair price shop owners from Salcete and Mormugao have objected to the installation but the reason behind it has not been specified. “We have to adopt the rules and regulations of the Central government failing which we will not be entitled to food grains,” he stated.