Madhya Pradesh government plans ration card 'portability'

  • Shahroz Afridi, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Oct 15, 2014 15:17 IST

The Madhya Pradesh government is planning to lift one-shop bar for its ration card holders by allowing them purchases from all fair price shops through Adhaar card-linked internet access.

The government calls it "ration card portability" and compares its utility with that of mobile number and bank accounts portability.

The new system will be put into effect from January in select cities, like Bhopal and Indore. Gwalior and Jabalpur may be included later.

Explaining the system principal secretary (food and civil supplies) Ashok Varnwal said every fair price shop would have a biometric machine with adhaar card access. The biometric authentication would be linked to the point of sales (PoS) machine. The moment a ration card holder enters his adhaar number, the biometric machine would be ready for the customer’s thumb impression verification.

Once it is done, the PoS machine would enter the purchase into the card holder’s account, thereby allowing him purchases from any fair price shop.

He said the PoS machine would not only determine the total sale from the shop, but also help fix the monthly quota of the shop on the basis of its sale.

In fact, the PoS machine at the shop would be attached to the PoS server to allow universal accessibility to the buyer and maintain database.

At present, the state government provides subsidised wheat, rice and certain other edibles to the ration card holders through areawise fair price shop accessibility only.

The portability system would help check food grains pilferage and fraudulent sale, Varnwal said.

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