The department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs is to automate the Public Distribution System (PDS) through digitization of ration cards and installation of Point of Sale (POS) devices in the fair price shops throughout the State.

Civil Supplies Minister GS Bali today said that under the ePDS project, the expenditure on automation/computerization would be borne by the Centre and the State Government on 50:50 basis.

He said under ePDS project, digitized and QR coded ration cards would be provided to the beneficiaries by 25th March, 2017 as the digitization of ration card forms had been completed and order to print the cards had already been given. Similarly, under automation of PDS the tender process had been completed and work order had also been issued to the vendor. The POS devices would be installed in the fair price shops by 31st March, 2017 and the ration would be distributed with the help of bio-metrics and aadhaar number of the beneficiary which would prevent the diversion of PDS foodgrains.

The Minister said till date the aadhaar seeding in the ration cards was 78.67% (100% members) and 94.24% (at least one member of the ration card). The 100 % seeding would be achieved after installation of the POS devices in the fair price shops within a period of three months. Thus, only genuine and real beneficiary will be able to get ration from these fair price shops after installation of POS devices.

Bali said the department was shifting from manual to automation system of PDS and keeping in view the possibility that there shall be some deficiencies, inaccuracies or mistakes, it had been devised that any beneficiary having any problem in relation of digitized ration cards or his entitlement could contact immediately to the Block Inspector or District Controller, Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs for needful correction/rectification, which will be done by the department at an earliest without any charges.

The Minister said due to the non-allocation of wheat by Government of India from the month of December, 2016 to March, 2017 the APL beneficiaries were not being provided wheat atta to the beneficiaries. But in lieu of it, they were being provided additional quantity of rice at APL rate. As per the government instructions, the allocation of wheat for April, 2017 had been received from Government of India and they will get wheat atta from the month of April, 2017.

He said for the redressal of PDS/FPS related grievances, any consumer may contact the department on consumer helpline No. 1800-180-8026 or toll free no. 1967.