State to computerise 14,000 Ration Shops

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Tvm: All the 14,000 odd Ration Shops in Kerala will be computerised shortly. This was stated by the State Food and Civil Supplies Minister Shri C Divakaran in the Legislative Assembly today in reply to a question.

Work on the computerisation of Ration Shops serving the Public Distribution System is progressing well and about half of them have already been computerised. This is expected to improve their efficiency and reach. The Government is working on a project to modernise the public distribution system and create a computer network linking ration shops in the State. In order to ensure transparency and service delivery in PDS, biometric based e-PDS will be implemented in a phased manner. The new ration cards which were issued recently have laminated photos with bar coding.

This is also part of the LDF Government’s initiative to give the ration shops a facelift to counter the marketing strategies of retail giants which have made an entry into various towns and cities of the State.

The state government had also initiated a pilot smart card project to monitor the distribution of supplies under the public distribution system. The system involves the installation of smart card readers at ration shops. Card holders can swipe their cards at the ration shops to get a bill. No transaction can take place without a bill. Unfortunately, there is little information available about the actual impact of using smart cards, though it has been successful in reducing pilferage of supplies at various stages within the system.

Anil Philip
Kerala IT News

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