Chennai: To iron out glitches in the public distribution system, prevent pilferage of essential commodities and make consumers' visit less bothersome, all fair price (ration) shops across Chennai and neighbouring districts will have Point Of Sale (POS) machines soon, according to a media report.
The machines will have ration card details of all consumers along with their aadhaar numbers. With the POS machine, the consumer who purchases commodities will get an SMS as to how much he or she paid and what commodities he or she got from the shop. Moreover, consumers can now download an App and submit the ration card number upon which it will throw up the stock position of commodities in the shop. The 400crore project is funded by the Centre.
Setting up of POS machines in ration shops is part of a national project to bring about transparency in public distribution system (PDS). The first step in setting up the machine in ration shops is seeding of aadhaar numbers into ration cards, said civil supplies department officials, a TOI report said.
The machines have already been installed in 11,000 ration shops across 13 districts south of Trichy. "We were waiting for seeding of the aadhaar numbers. This process has almost been completed in Chennai and nearby districts. Nearly 2,000 POS machines will be set up in these places," said a civil supplies department official, not willing to be named. Besides giving information to consumers, the machines will give details about stock position. "The machines are being manufactured in Chennai. It has some imported spare parts too," said the official.
Meanwhile, across Tamil Nadu seeding of aadhaar numbers with ration cards is expected to be completed by December. Later, the POS machines would be installed. Welcoming the project, Tamil Nadu Progressive Consumer Centre president T Sadagopan told TOI: "It is a welcome move. Until now, we know what commodities are available in our ration shops only if we visit them. We have to return if there is no stock of sugar or rice. But, with the App, visiting ration shops is not so bothersome. There is transparency too."