Meghalaya’s initiative of e-PoS helps in glitch-free PDS

BNE News Desk

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Shillong: The Meghalaya government’s initiative to introduce electronic point of sale (e-PoS) has helped in the glitch-free implementation of the Public Distribution System in the state.

e-PoS, which is a state initiative, helped the department by ensuring that each NFSA beneficiary transacting with fair-price shop (FPS) dealers is captured and authenticated whenever a beneficiary comes for the monthly allocation of foodgrains. The e-PoS transactions are uploaded to the portal for monitoring and ensuring that rightful beneficiaries are getting their share of foodgrains.

There are currently 4,743 e-PoS devices operational in the state.

The Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department has also digitised the data of districts, wholesalers, FPS and beneficiaries. This has helped the department have a computerised supply chain management, which “is ensuring transparency and efficiency”, an official in the department said on condition of anonymity.

However, poor internet connectivity and frequent power cuts are the hurdles in the state, especially in remote areas. The source said that officials are aware of the weak internet and that is the reason why the e-PoS devices can work both in online and offline modes.

Regarding the frequent power cuts, the e-PoS devices have a battery backup of at least three days when fully charged. Also, it is to be noted that the foodgrain distribution cycle is from the 15th to the 30th of every month. Hence, the issue of power cuts will have minimal effect on operating the e-PoS devices.

The data collected is being cleaned and updated from time to time.

The department also has a ‘claims and objections process’ where people can claim or object to inclusion or exclusion under NFSA. With the digitisation of the NFSA data, the probability of having ghost cards has also become minuscule.
However, based on Aadhaar seeding with ration cards, if any duplicate ration card is found, field verification is conducted and if the ration card is really a duplicate record, the district immediately replaces it with a genuine family.

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BNE News Desk