VIJAYAWADA:Buoyed by the success of the ePOS (electronic point of sale), recently introduced in 511 Fair Price Shops (FPS) in the district on a pilot basis, the Krishna district administration has decided to extend it to the remaining 1,638 FP shops by the end of April, according to collector Babu Ahmed.
Stating this while demonstrating the working of the ePOS to newsmen here on Friday, he said the ePOS would bring phenomenal changes in the Public Distribution System (PDS) in the country. He added that it would ensure transparency in the FPS and fix accountability on their owners. Ahmed said that with the installation of ePOS machines in the remaining 1,638 FPS by the end of next month, Krishna district would emerge as the first district in the country to have a cent per cent digitised PDS in place.
Explaining the genesis of the ePOS concept and how it would address the irregularities in the PDS, he said a pilot project taken up in East Godavari district, while he was the Joint Collector there, had yielded good results. “The ePOS had not only helped us weed out a large number of bogus cards but it had also prevented diversion of the commodities by the FPS dealers to a great extent. It had helped us save about 20-25 per cent of the commodities, that is about Rs 70 cr to 80 cr a year,” he added.
Ajmed further said that ePOS would be introduced in 300 districts out of 678 in the country. All the districts in the state would be covered by it. Babu explained how the electronic monitoring and digitization of the chain-supply management would help in making the PDS foolproof and transparent.”When the shipment of commodities leaves the stock lifting point to the FPS, a route officer will accompany and once the shipment reaches the destination, he will authenticate it and the FPS dealer will acknowledge. The entire process will be online.
Once the commodities reach the FPS, the consumers attached to that particular FPS will be sent a customized message to their mobiles in Telugu informing them that the ration commodities are available at the shop. At the FPS, the electronic weighing scales are linked to ePOS and will measure the quantity and the time disposed. The identity of the customer will be validated by his fingerprint and IRIS. The entire process will completed in a very short time,” he elaborated.
Ahmed said the initial hiccups had been overcome and added that the ePOS machines were being prepared to have multiple net connections, so there would not be any loss of connection. He said ePOS in FPS of urban areas would be equipped with broadband connectivity shortly. Where the signals were weak, WIP antennas would be provided, so the problem could be overcome.He also said they were contemplating to introduce portability in PDS, so any beneficiary could avail their quota of ration of essential commodities from any FPS.