Himachal gearing up for e-ration cards



Shima: Himachal Pradesh government is exploring the possibility of introducing e-ration cards in the state. Attending a presentation made in this regard by a Chennai-based company, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said all fair price shops in the state functioning under Public Distribution System would be required to issue cash memos to the ration card holders drawing rations from retail outlets to make the system compatible for e-ration cards.

The Chief Minister said that the state government had issued directions to all fair price shops distributing essential commodities under the public distribution system, especially commodities being subsidized by the state government to every ration card holder in the state. He said that with the online system the entire network would get connected with the state headquarters and daily monitoring of the position of stock and distribution of essential commodities would be possible. He said that there were about 16 lakh domestic consumers in the state and most of them had been provided with ration cards to draw the supplies of essential commodities from local fair price shops. He said that besides subsidised essentials other commodities were also being provided to the ration card holders. He said that with the e-ration card facilities the entire system would go transparent, misuse of ration cards and pilferages etc. of the stocks would also be checked completely.

The Chief Minister added that with the preparation of e-ration cards the consumers would be benefitted with getting their cards transferred from one station to other conveniently and there would not be any duplication of drawing benefits from two stations by the same person at any time. He said that it would help in checking the bogus ration cards as well. He said that the system would be totally integrated one and all information would be available instantly to the authorities. He said that it was supposed to be the unique system in the country since none of the States had adopted the system under public distribution system so far. He said that such endeavour of the State Government would go a long way in strengthening the public distribution system as also monitor the stock position of the essential commodities. He said that the GPS (global positioning system) could also be adopted for the supplies being made from whole sale depots to the retail outlets all over the State besides ensuring timely delivery of the supplies at different destinations.

Prof. Dhumal directed the authorities to prepare a pilot project over the proposal and explore possibilities of getting the same funded by the Government of India since a number of schemes were being undertaken by various departments under IT activities and the benefit of the same could be obtained for the State as well. He also directed them to explore possibilities of preparation of multipurpose e-card which could be used for multipurpose objectives thereby benefitting the card holders with many services with single card.

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