Over a dozen states including Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Assam, Bihar, Goa and West Bengal have made no progress in installing Electronic Point of Sale machines (e-PoS) at fair price shops, which plugs leakage of subsidised food grains to the poor, according to a media report.
While food and consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan has recently highlighted how two non-NDA rules state - Bihar and UP - have been lagging behind, government records showed that many of the NDA governed states have done badly so far.
In Punjab, Goa and Assam, not a single e-PoS device has been installed while in Maharashtra and Haryana, not even one per cent of the fair price shops have got these devices, which identify the beneficiaries from their finger impressions.
"It's not an issue of NDA or non-NDA states. Every state must implement this reform to stop diversion of subsidised food grains. I will write to all the state governments," Paswan said. In Delhi, only 38 shops out of 2,534 have e-PoS machines, a Times of India report said.
According to official data, e-PoS have been installed in all fare price shops in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Daman and Diu while Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Chandigarh and Puducherry have done away with the fair price shops as direct benefit transfer has been implemented there. In Gujarat and Chhattisgarh, over 90% of the shops have got this device.
There are total 5.30 lakh fair price shops across the country and so far 1.24 lakh of them have got e-PoS machines. The government has set the target to complete 100% coverage by March 2019.