Millennium Post

Govt hikes commission of ration dealers in a bid to ensure POS machines in all shops across Bengal

Kolkata: The state government is increasing the commission of the ration dealers to encourage them for installing POS machines in the ration shops across the state.

The state Food and Supplies department has already got the nod of the state Finance department to increase the commission of the dealers from Rs 54 per quintal to Rs 70.

A section of the ration dealers, however, have demanded Rs 250 as commission. Some dealers have been organising protests demanding hike of commission for the last one month. The ration dealers under the aegis of the Centre are entitled to get a commission of Rs 70 a quintal, half of which is to be paid by the state. The state pays Rs 16 to the ration distributors, with the foodgrains reaching the dealers through the distributors in Bengal. The commission of the distributors will, however, remain the same.

It may be mentioned that the Centre has recently written to the state Food department, threatening to stop subsidy for food grains if the POS machines are not installed.

The POS machines in the ration shops will not only prevent fleecing of customers by a section of shop owners, but will also facilitate people in availing multipurpose facilities like purchase of railway tickets, bus tickets for distant travel, deposit of LIC premium and several others.

"We have already installed such machines at 366 ration shops in six districts as a pilot project and the venture has proved to be successful. We will be installing similar facilities in all the 21,000 ration shops across the state," a senior official of the Food department said.

The department has already organised training programmes across the state for equipping the dealers in handling POS machines. There are only a few districts where the training is still going on.

The POS machines will be able to detect fraudulent practices like giving less quantity of food grains to customers or dealing in inferior stuff which is not actually supplied by the department. "It will serve the dual objective of quality as well as quantity control," the official added.

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