Fair price shops going digital from April

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Ration Shops
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Hyderabad: Come April and fair price shops in the State will not only go for cashless transactions, but also help beneficiaries draw money using debit cards and transfer money from their accounts as well.

Around 4,000 ration shops in erstwhile districts of Medak, Mahabubnagar and Nizamabad would be equipped with electronic Point of Sale machines, which would double up as micro-ATMs and would be connected to weighing machines in the shops, said State Civil Supplies Commissioner CV Anand.

“We have divided the project into three phases and under Phase-I, the newly procured machines would be installed in nearly 4,000 ration shops in Mahabubnagar, Medak, and Nizamabad,” he said and added that the existing 1,545 e-POS units in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation limits would be upgraded soon.

“After getting several complaints on violation of rules and diversion of stock in Mahabubnagar district, we have listed it in Phase-I,” he said and added that the remaining shops across the State would be automated in Phase II and Phase III. There are 16,000-odd shops in the State.

The department had recently finalised tenders that were invited to select a system integrator for implementation of Aadhaar-enabled Public Distribution System (PDS) in the State with the introduction of e-POS machines.

“The new e-POS machines, to be supplied by Oasys Cybernetics Private Limited, are provided with advanced features and being supplied at a low price. Beneficiaries can collect their monthly share from any FPS across the State,” the Commissioner said.

The new units, apart from being linked to the electronic weighing machine, will have an Iris scanner, swiping Aadhaar enabled system, audio/ voice features, and micro ATM facility.

Anand said that Rs 17 per every quintal of PDS rice would be paid to dealers if they procure the unit on their own.

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