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Government Will Provide Smart Ration Cards to 36 Lakh NFSA Families


Chandigarh, (Aditi): Smart Ration Card for the National Food Security Act (NFSA) Families Under the endeavor of the Smart Ration Card Scheme, the State of Punjab is going to provide Smart Ration Cards to approximately 36 Lakh NFSA families.

While disclosing this Food, Civil Supply and Consumer affair Minister Punjab Mr. Bharat Bhushan Ashu said that this will ensure that the families entitled under NFSA scheme get the entitled benefit and this will also help the government to deliver the services effectively and with full transparency.

Giving detail regarding feature of Smart Ration Cards Mr. Ashu said that this Smart Ration Card will be used for withdrawing the food grains from the Fair Price Shops (FPS) through e-PoS machines without carrying any additional document. The Smart Ration Card will be swiped on the e-PoS machine to fetch the details of the family, after which the bio-metrics authentication of the family member will be done to withdraw the food grains. The Cards can also be used for Intra-State portability.

Explaining about the security features of Smart Ration Card he said that the details of the beneficiaries integrated in the chip will be locked which will be read from authenticated devices only. The file Structure is designed in such a way that it will be operated through the authenticated e-PoS machines only.

Minister said that the Cards have security features that will be visible under Ultra Violet Light. The micro text technology is also being used in the Smart Rations Cards which cannot be visible through naked eyes. The QR Code printed or the back side of the Cards is a combination of more than one fields. In addition to this, these Smart Ration Cards will also be integrated with State Family ID, which is issued by the Government of Punjab under Unified State Identity Card for availing the benefits of all central/State schemes to which the family is entitled. The State Family ID would be "PBF" followed by 9-digit number e.g. PBF123456789 which will be backed by a checksum validation. This Unified State ID will help the State to create a State database of the families/ citizens covered under various schemes.

To make the ration distribution process transparent and to plug any pilferage, he said that the work of TPDS has been computerized. The Cabinet Meeting of 17.11.2017 had approved complete computerization of TPDS under End to End Computerization Scheme besides automation of Ration Depots and management of supply chain to check any scam involved in distribution of ration.

He said that following this process across Punjab, all beneficiaries are being distributed ration through 1617 e-PoS Machines after authenticating their biometrics and Aadhar numbers and e-PoS Machines have also been linked with eye scanners and weighing scale.

He further said that there is a total of approximately 17366 Fair Price Shops across Punjab and depot holders are paid margin money @Rs. 50 per Quintal as advance for distribution of wheat. In addition to this, depot holders can sell more items so as to increase their income and supply of five Kilo Gas Cylinders is also being done by them. Beside this department has set up a robust internal and external Grievances Redressal System. The beneficiaries can file their complaints before the vigilance committees, Departmental Officers, District Grievances Redressal Officers (Additional Deputy Commissioner level officers), State Food Commission or at toll free number 180030061313 and at http://governance.punjab.gov.in. In addition, DGR Team Punjab has also developed a new portal http://connect.punjab.gov.in. Online transactions can be viewed on epos.punjab.gov.in.

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