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Centre launches smart card based PDS in Haryana
Under this pilot scheme, existing ration cards will be replaced with smart cards in the interest of checking diversion and leakages of food grains, thereby resulting in greater accountability and transparency in the distribution system.

The Centre today launched a pilot scheme in Haryana to supply wheat and rice under the public distribution system (PDS) through smart card -- a move aimed at checking diversion and leakages of food grains.

The scheme, with an outlay of around Rs 140 crore, was launched by Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar in presence of Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Prime Minister Economic Advisory Council Chairman C Rangarajan.

Meanwhile, Haryana Food and Supplies Minister Mahender Partap Singh distributed ration to consumers through smart card at a function organised at Panchkula, near Chandigarh, to mark the implementation of the project.

Under the scheme, existing ration cards would be replaced with smart cards. These smart cards will contain bio-metric features of adult members of the ration card holder families.

The government, in the 2008-09 Budget, had announced that Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh will implement the smart card based delivery system.

Speaking on the occasion, Pawar said that the main aim of this project is to prevent the alarming diversion of essential commodities and introduction of accountability and transparency in the distribution system.

Pawar said that it was the responsibility of the Centre as well the states to implement best public distribution system (PDS) and minimise the public grievances.

Giving details of the smart card, the Haryana Minister, at Panchkula, said the monthly entitlement of consumers would be stored in the card and all the transactions at fair price shops would be performed only on the production of the card by one of the members of the family.

Finger print templates of three members along with the photo of head of the family would be stored in the card to ensure that the transaction happened only in the presence of beneficiary.

Singh said that under the project about 54 lakh eligible families of the state would be issued smart cards.

Source: PTI