Dept of Food and Public Distribution Notifies Amendment in Food Security (Assistance to State Government Rules) 2015

·    ePoS Linkage with Electronic Weighing Machines Encouraged

·    Move to Improve Transparency and Curb the Leakages at Ration Shops at the time of Weighing of Foodgrains for Beneficiaries

·    Amendment Incentivises States who have been using ePoS Efficiently and Encourages States to Improve Efficiency in epos Operations and Generate Savings

·    States who are operating their ePoS devices judiciously and are able to generate savings from the additional margin of Rs.17.00 per quintal can now utilise the savings for purchase, operations and maintenance of electronic weighing scales and their integration with the point of sale devices, Amendment would encourage other States to generate savings through judicious operation of their ePoS devices

·    The Amendment Aims to Ensure Right Quantity to Beneficiaries in Distribution of subsidized foodgrains under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 as per their Entitlement

The Department of Food & Public Distribution has issued a notification on 18th June, 2021 to ensure right quantity to beneficiaries in distribution of subsidized foodgrains as per their entitlement under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013.

In order to incentivise States who are operating their ePoS devices in a judicious manner and are able to generate savings from the additional margin of Rs.17.00 per quintal provided to them, and to take forward the reform process for improving transparency in operations of the Targeted Public Distribution System under NFSA, Rule 7 in sub-rule (2) of Food security (Assistance to State Government Rules) 2015 has been amended with effect from 18th June, 2021 so that any savings if accrued by any State/Union Territory from the additional margin provided towards the cost of purchase, operation and maintenance of the point of sale device, its running expenses and incentive for its use, can henceforth be utilised for purchase, operations and maintenance of electronic weighing scales and their integration with the point of sale devices. This would encourage other States to generate savings through judicious use of ePoS devices.

This amendment is an attempt to take forward the reform process envisaged under Section 12 of the Act, through improving transparency of operations of the Targeted Public Distribution System under NFSA. While distribution through ePoS devices ensures that subsidised foodgrains are provided to the rightful beneficiary through biometric authentication, integration of ePoS devices with electronic weighing scales would ensure that the beneficiary is given the right quantity of foodgrains by the Fair Price Shop dealer as per his entitlement.

It may be noted that the National Food Security Act provides for reforms in the Targeted Public Distribution System through application of information and communication technology tools including end-to-end computerization to ensure transparent recording of transactions at all levels, and to prevent diversion and leveraging “Aadhaar” for unique identification, with biometric information of entitled beneficiaries for proper targeting of benefits under the Act.

Food security (Assistance to State Government Rules) 2015 that was notified in August 2015, provides for additional margin to Fair Price Shop (FPS) Dealers for sale through electronic point of sale devices (ePoS) as an incentive to ensure transparent recording of transactions at all levels. Accordingly, the scheme “Assistance to State agencies for intra-State movement of foodgrains and FPS dealers margin under NFSA” provides for additional Margin of Rs.17.00 per quintal to all State Governments/Union Territories towards the cost of purchase, operation and maintenance of the point of sale device, its running expenses and incentive for its use. The additional margin is payable for the fair price shop which has installed a point-of-sale device and shall be limited to the transactions made through it.

<Gazette notification>