Hyderabad: In a bid to curb pilferage of foodgrains in the pubic distribution system, 16,560 electronic point of sale devices would be installed at all fair price shops by the end of March.
Civil supplies commissioner C.V. Anand said the new devices would recognise not only the fingerprints of beneficiaries but have features like iris scanner, electronic weighing machine, swiping Aadhaar Enabled System (AEPAS). He said the devices would save the exchequer up to Rs 800 crore a year.
The Centre had recently warned all states that it would cut food subsidy from April 1 if they failed to install ePOS devices.
A committee headed by Mr Anand saved Rs 3 crore per year by finalising the tenders on transparent methodology at a lower price.
“ePOS units are in vogue in the ration shops in GHMC limits. The new devices have advanced features. As per the initiative of the Centre to conduct banking operations also through ration shops, micro ATMs would be positioned suitably and the dealers would work as business correspondents for banking operations in addition to their existing responsibilities,” Mr Anand said.
He said the department would bear the total burden of Rs 1,499 per unit per month. “Already in GHMC limits, the department is paying a rental of Rs 1,650 per unit which is operating on bio-metric technology. As the bidding process is conducted at the national level in a transparent manner, the department has saved Rs 151 on every machine. It means Rs 24 lakh a month and Rs 3 crore in a year,” he added.
As many as 1,545 ration shops in the GHMC limits have been equipped with ePOS machines from March last. These machines function on the basis of Aadhaar number. The system has helped save Rs 190 crore so far, he said. However, problems are cropping up with the machines whenever the fingerprints are hazy.