New Delhi : With an aim to reduce the economic burden on the beneficiaries under National Food Security Act and to ensure that the beneficiaries receive their monthly ration in a transparent manner with maximum ease, the Department of Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, has initiated important measures to operationalise the Service of Home Delivery of Ration.
Sharing these details a spokesman of the State Government said that tenders for engaging delivery services and empanelling Flour Mills have been floated by the newly created The Punjab State Cooperative D2D Marketing Society, Ltd. To ensure maximum transparency and widest participation, the tenders for delivery services have been published across the country in a leading economic daily, he said, adding that the entire tender process including its evaluation will be online on the e-procurement portal of the State Government.
Highlighting the benefits of the service, the spokesperson said that the beneficiary will no longer be required to wait in long queues outside Fair Price Shop and forgo his daily wage. Any leakages in the system will also be plugged as it is much more difficult to siphon of Atta in comparison to wheat, he said. SMS service will be introduced for the first time, he disclosed, thereby informing the beneficiary of the date of scheduled home delivery of Ration in advance.
As regards improvement in the frequency of distribution, the spokesperson explained that it will be for the first time ever that foodgrain entitlements in the form of Atta will continue unabated throughout the year, which will be in stark contrast to the present scenario where wheat distribution is halted during March, April and May to prevent resale of PDS wheat in the Mandis.
Elaborating on the State of the Art processes being envisaged, he said that the proposed system provides traceability of every grain of wheat from source (Godown) to destination (beneficiary) using latest technologies like Bar Code, CCTV, GPS, PoS Devices with biometric authentication etc. The entire information of Distribution shall be available online on real time basis to the Department which will help in optimal supply chain management, thereby preventing leakages under TPDS, he added. Collection of payment @ Rs. 2/Kg will through various Digital Modes/ Wallets such as BHIM, BharatPe, Paytm, Google Pay etc.
Herein it may be noted that under the NFSA the beneficiary currently gets 5Kg wheat every month which will be replaced with Wheat Flour Atta. This will save time and the beneficiaries will also have an annual saving of 170 crore rupees, which is a significant amount for the poor people whose incomes have shrunk and savings have eroded after the outbreak of the covid pandemic.
In addition the beneficiaries are presently given three months of ration in one go which creates huge problems of storage for them, since a typical family of four persons gets 60 Kg of wheat. As a result it has become a common practice that they offload the wheat to the nearest Atta Chakki which then charges them in cash or kind for the same. With the introduction of Atta, each family of four persons will get 20 Kg Atta every month, which can be easily store