The year started off with the Food & Civil Supplies Minister blessing all ration cardholders with better ease of access to food grains by letting them obtain ration from all Fair Price Shops (FPS) instead of just registered ration shops and also initiating distribution of ration via an electronic point of sale (e-PoS) at all 2,254 FPSs. However, less than a week after the initiative came into effect, a bunch of Fair Price Shops have been found defaulting on a number of grounds.
The Fault In Our Shops
During surprise inspections, which were carried out by the Delhi Food & Civil Supplies Minister Imran Hussain to check the efficiency of the shops and the e-PoS devices installed in each of them, shortcomings at nine Fair Price Shops were discovered. These shortcomings included issues like connectivity problems at the FPS that caused delays in ration distribution. Meanwhile, four FPSs were not displaying the mandatory information on their display boards and one other FPS was found shut.
While reviewing e-POS, officers of the department informed the Minister, “since the distribution of food grains through e-PoS devices is in its initial stage, such kind of technical issues are being faced and are also promptly being attended by the department as well as officials and technicians of Bharat Electronics Limited”.
Hussain has asked officials to eliminate all issues, while also issuing an order to the Commissioner, Food and Civil Supplies seeking an explanation of concerned Food and Supply Officer (FSO), Food and Supply Inspector (FSI) and Assistant Commissioner (FCS) regarding the discrepancies/irregularities found at the five FPS in question.