The Delhi government on Monday said that the ration distribution in all 2,254 fair price shops here has been made online and will now be managed through the electronic Point of Sale (e-PoS) devices. Currently, the ration under the public distribution system can be bought only from the registered ration shops in the area. The Aadhaar-based e-PoS machines would use biometric identification to ensure that ration card-holders get their allotted share of foodgrains. The scheme is certain to ease down the rush on shops and provide a reliable option to the public for fetching their share.

The statement said that this is a test run and thus, distribution of 8 percent card holders will be allowed off-line in order to provide ease to the beneficiaries whose Aadhaar authentication either fails or who still do not possess Aadhaar cards. The Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister Imran Hussain said that the new system was a gift to the people on New Year and will have a robust mechanism for verification of beneficiaries through the Aadhaar authentication, having features to monitor transactions online.

The e-Pos Devices have also been integrated with the electronic weighing machine to ensure correct weight to the beneficiaries. “This system will provide comfort to the disabled and destitute beneficiaries who are facing problems in accessing the shops. They will be able to nominate a person who will be able to draw ration after due verification,” the minister said.

“Distribution of food grains to 8% of the total card holders will be allowed offline so that the beneficiaries whose Aadhar authentication either fails or who still do not possess Aadhar cards do not face a problem,” Hussain said.

“The department has made a proposal to increase the margin money for fair price shop owners from Rs 70 per quintal to Rs 200 per quintal (from 70 paisa per kg to Rs 2 per kg) which is under active consideration of the government. The proposal will soon be tabled in the Cabinet meeting for the approval,” he added.

The new system will also provide portability under which a ration card holder can avail ration from any shop in the city.

However, for availing this facility, the biometric data of the beneficiaries must match the official record.