Scales, PoS devices at PDS shops to be linked in Tamil Nadu

Move will prevent manipulation by PDS staff as the system will record the exact quantity of foodgrain distributed

Published: 30th January 2023 06:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th January 2023 06:55 AM   |  A+A-

Foodgrain, Shop, PDS

For representational purposes

Express News Service

CHENNAI:  To prevent leakage of food grain in the public distribution system (PDS), the civil supplies and consumer protection department has decided to integrate electronic weighing machines with the point of sale (PoS) devices at ration shops in the state. The move will prevent manipulation by PDS staff as the system will record the exact quantity of food grain distributed to the beneficiary.

All the 25,535 full-time and 10,294 part-time fair price shops in the State will undergo digital upgrade under phase II of end-to-end computerization of PDS according to officials from the civil supplies department. The first phase of end-to-end computerisation of PDS was completed in 2015 and became operational in 2016. Biometric verification of cardholders for delivery of goods came into force in October 2020.

“The installation of an iris scanning facility at PDS shops will be undertaken in the scheme. We have floated tenders inviting bids. The phase II computerisation will be implemented in a phased manner across the state,” said an official.

In July 2021, the union food ministry amended the Food Security (Assistance To State Government Rules) 2015 to connect weighing scales at PDS shops with PoS devices to ensure that targeted beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) receive the right quantity of their allocation and the Centre provides Rs 17 additional subsidy per quintal of rice distributed through PoS.

About 3.64 crores poor population are supplied with foodgrains under NFSA in the state and beneficiaries were issued AAY (18.64 lahks) and priority household (PHH) (96.21 lahks) cards. All the cardholders are supplied with rice free of cost.

Each AAY card is eligible for 35 kgs of rice and PHH can receive 5 kgs of rice per member, subject to a maximum ceiling of 20kg per month. “If an AAY cardholder purchases only 10kg as against total entitlement of 35kg, the PDS staff can manipulate it manually by entering 35kg on the PoS device. Once the PoS device and weighing scales are linked, the system will record the exact quantity of foodgrain distributed to the beneficiary,” said an official.

The scheme also integrated 247 godowns with PDS shops, TNPDS mobile app, smart cards and a web portal to monitor the allotment of commodities, district-wise allocation, available stock and other details. The beneficiaries also get SMS alerts on their registered mobile numbers. FPS shops have 24,647 old PoS devices which were installed five years ago and 10,435 new devices with upgraded specifications. 


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