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Penal action against ration shops not using e-Pos

Kolkata: The state Food and Supplies department shall take penal action against the ration shops, which are not using e- Pos (Electronic Point of Sales) for transactions.

"We have found that a number of ration shops, which are not using e- Pos. Even where e-Pos are used, authenticated transactions are not being done in respect to the beneficiaries whose Aadhaar numbers/mobile numbers are seeded with their ration card numbers. We want 100 per cent authenticated transactions (biometric authentication/OTP based transaction) on the part of the ration shops in respect to the beneficiaries whose Aadhaar/mobile numbers are seeded with the ration cards," a senior official of

Food and Supplies department said.

However, the department has made it clear that not a single beneficiary should be denied his or her share of foodgrains if authentication fails for any reason that is beyond the control of the shop owner. The official added that the department has already issued detailed guidelines regarding transaction through e-Pos and the roles and responsibilities of the ration shops in this regard has been fixed.

The department has also issued directions that family based-transactions, the families—whose all members have validated Aadhaar numbers with their ration cards—should also be done through authenticated transactions.

As per sources in the department, over 10 crore digital ration cards have been issued but Aadhaar numbers of 7 crore beneficiaries have been updated in their database.

Each family member is required to authenticate by providing a fingerprint. If the verification through this process fails, the mobile number may be used as an alternative. When the ration card is scanned in the e-Pos machine, an OTP will be sent to the beneficiaries' registered mobile number. The ration dealer will then have to enter the OTP in the e-Pos machine for doing the transaction. "We will thus become sanguine that the transaction has been done by the real beneficiary and the dealer will not be able to fleece him or her by any means," the official said.

Biswambhar Basu, general secretary of All India Fair Price Shop Dealers' Federation, has urged the department not to penalise the shop owners as the server is often posing a problem in performing authenticated transactions.

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