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Assam to introduce computerised PDS
The PDS beneficiaries of Assam will receive new biometric smart cards as ration cards. It is hoped that this will reduce duplicate registration and invalid ration cards, reduce forgery and bring transparency to the distribution process.

 

Guwahati: The Assam government have decided to introduce biometric smart cards for beneficiaries of PDS in order to make it more transparent and efficient implementation. State Food and Civil Supplies Minister Nazrul Islam said the pilot project for computerisation of PDS will begin initially in three districts of Kamrup, Nagaon and Karbi Anglong and the other districts will also be covered phase wise.

The centre has cleared a Rs 8 crore proposal submitted by the government to computerise the system in three districts, he said. The PDS beneficiaries, under the new scheme will be provided biometric ration cards in place of the existing ones. The new system will use fingerprints and iris as electronically preserved biometrics to have the individuals registered. These electronic records will be used to prepare ration cards and bar-coded coupons for beneficiaries.

The biometric technology helps to identify and remove duplicate registration of beneficiaries. It will also eradicate invalid ration cards. The move comes following allegations of large scale anamolies in the issuance of ration cards and distribution of items under PDS.

“Through computerisation of the system we will be able to plug the holes in the process of implementation of PDS schemes. The PDS is a huge network comprising gaon panchayats, co-operative societies and more than 33,000 fair price shops, among others,” the Minister said.

Islam however, admitted that 15 to 25 per cent of food items meant for distribution under PDS had not reached the beneficiaries. He also hoped that the system would help maintain transparency in the PDS and drastically reduce the possibility of fraud.

 

Source: iGovernment