Jammu, Apr 03: Union Secretary, Department of Food & Public Distribution, Sanjeev Chopra, has appreciated the reforms introduced by the Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA), J&K for holistic transformation and streamlining of the public distribution system.
Interacting with the officers of the FCS&CA Department here on Monday, the Union Secretary hailed the commendable efforts made by the department to make the public distribution system hassle-free and at the same time stressed the need for immediate integration of e-Pos with the weighing scale.
He asked the department to build adequate capacity and be ready for implementation of Route Optimization Plans as and when the same is notified by the Government of India and also urged for effective participation in Smart PDS when the same is rolled out by the Government of India.
In his presentation, Commissioner Secretary FCS&CA, Zubair Ahmad presented an overview of the functioning of the department with stress on new initiatives. He informed the Union Secretary that there are 24.80 lakh ration card holders in J&K covering a population of 96.74 lakh beneficiaries with cent percent Aadhaar Seeding.
He said the Aadhaar Seeding has facilitated the removal of more than a million bogus beneficiaries. “Public Distribution System in J&K is built around a strong and widespread network of 6735 ration shops including 2104 government shops and 4631 private outlets,” he said, adding that ePoS devices have been installed in all the sale outlets across J&K and the distribution process is fully automated with Aadhaar authentication rate of 93.85% in transactions. He said 6393 PoS machines are working in an online mode.
Regarding One Nation-One Ration Card (ONORC), Zubair said that till last month 39,125 ONORC transactions were made, taking J&K to 10th position in the country. Also, during this period, 13,50,513 portability (Inter-District) transactions were made, he said.
Zubair said that 8,94,891.33 MTs of food grains were distributed in 7 Phases spanning April 2020 to December 2022 under Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY, besides the distribution made under NFSA and Non-NFSA to eligible beneficiaries.
The Commissioner Secretary said various initiatives have been taken to transform FPSs. He said proper implementation of Supply Chain Management has remained the area of focus and the department has been able to achieve implementation of 98% of SCM, despite difficult terrains, internet issues, peculiar situations, lack of requisite IT infrastructure & electricity issues.
Commissioner Secretary said that J&K has been following all the reforms based on technology interventions, to make the system transparent, dependable and credible.