September 23, 2016
In an effort to curb malpractices in ration shops, the Government has come up with a system wherein the ration card-holders all over Tamil Nadu will be notified about their purchase via SMS. This system will be implemented from October 1, according to officials.
Currently, the goods purchased at the PDS shops are being handed over to the customer with a receipt, which leads to malpractices. It is alleged that the free rice, sugar and dhal that are for meant for public distribution, are diverted and sold illegally by the ration shop authorities.
The ration shop authorities and sales persons, some with political backing, issue fake receipts and then sell the items in the black market. It is found that most people in Chennai prefer supermarkets to ration shops which gives room for their supplies to be distributed illegally.
The new system that would replace the physical receipt system is two pronged: All ration shops will be provided with Point of Sale (PoS) devices wherein the card-holder’s Aadhaar Card will be scanned and stored. Once the card-holder makes a purchase, the sale would be registered in the PoS device and an SMS will be sent to the mobile phone of the head of the family. This system is being introduced with an aim to end malpractices.
From October 1, the list of the items bought by the card-holder or his/her family will be entered into the PoS device, after which an SMS with all the details of purchase will get generated to the customer’s registered mobile number. The data entered into the PoS will be fed into the control room system and, hence, it would put a stop to malpractices.
PoS devices will be installed in all shops run by women self-help groups, civil supplies department and co-operatives which total up to 1, 815 shops.
All the staff of the department – district supply officers, taluk supply officers and sales persons – will be trained to handle the new devices and adopt the new SMS receipt system.
According to an official, the ration shops will create a database with phone numbers of head of the family in each house, whose name is mentioned in their card for sending the SMS.