Kerala: Ration shops to soon be micro-ATMs and mini-supermarkets

The ration shop near you is soon to become a micro-ATM and a mini-supermarket.

Published: 06th July 2022 06:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th July 2022 06:23 AM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

ALAPPUZHA: The ration shop near you is soon to become a micro-ATM and a mini-supermarket. You can buy ration items without paying in cash and carry out banking and other cashless transactions and even withdraw money from the electronic point of sale (ePoS) machine using the Aadhaar-enabled smart ration cards.According to Minister for Food and Civil Supplies G R Anil, the project’s implementation is in the final stage and 837 ration shop owners from across the state are ready to join it. With this, the government will introduce K-Store (Kerala Store) under the State Civil Supplies Corporation.

“The new stores will continue the present services of ration like distribution of ration items. Besides, banking transactions up to Rs 5,000 can be carried out through the store. Distribution of mini-LPG cylinders, sale of Supplyco products at a subsidised rate and unified payment interface (UPI) transactions can be carried out.

As a pilot project, five ration shops in each district will be converted into K-Stores in a few months. The licence for operating K-Stores will be given only to the ration shops situated in rural areas where the people don’t have access to banks, ATMs, Akshaya centres or Supplyco outlets within a radius of 2km,” the minister said.

The Central government proposed conversion of rations shops across the country into micro-ATMs at the time of the introduction of ePoS machine nationwide in 2015. With the introduction of the new facility, Kerala will be the first state in the country to offer the service, an officer said.

“The ePoS machine, once compatible to function as a micro-ATM, will enable people to withdraw money from accounts by swiping their debits cards or smart ration cards, make deposits, transfer funds, make balance enquiries and collect mini statements. Now, the ePoS machine records the Aadhaar-linked thump impression of the card holder to dispense ration items. After the conversion of ePoS machines into micro-ATMs, the card holder can collect these details through a thump impression or swiping the card.

The Central government had also proposed converting around five lakh ration shops in the country into micro-ATMs. After the conversion, it will become a major step towards cashless transactions in the country,” the officer said. The main advantage of the proposal is that the banking services will be available near the consumers. The conversion will also increase the revenue of shop franchises.

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