The Maharashtra government has decided not to follow the diktat of the central government on starting Electronic-Point of Sale (E-PoS) system and distribute food without it, citing that its usage could facilitate the spread of CoVID-19.
The central government had issued a circular directing all the states to start the distribution of food grains through the E-PoS system. This system has the biometric information of beneficiaries and it identifies them through the thumb impression. Food will be distributed only if the thumb impression matches with the biometric information of the person. This was done to ensure that only genuine beneficiaries get the ration.
Janata Dal (Secular) has written a letter to the Food and Civil Supplies Minister Chhagan Bhujbal requesting him to cancel the state government’s circular to use the E-PoS system based on the centre’s order. “This circular was issued by the state government on April 27 and all ration shop owners were asked to use the E-PoS system. They were asked to sanitise the E-PoS machine and their hands after each transaction. This is highly impractical keeping in mind the crowd of beneficiaries present in the shop. The shop owners have threatened to go on strike against this circular. The use of E-PoS may also help spread the virus,” Sharad Patil, state president of Janata Dal (Secular) said in his letter.
The state government took note of the points raised by us and reacted immediately on our demands, said Prabhakar Narkar, Mumbai president of JDS. “As Maharashtra is still reeling under the danger of the spread of CoVID-19, we have decided to relax the condition of using E-PoS, which is used for taking the thumb reading of beneficiaries under the National Food Safety Scheme. To check any corruption in this process, the state government has already directed the district administration to appoint teachers to oversee this process,” Bhujbal stated.