Ration depot holders ask govt to return their EPoS machines : The Tribune India

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Ration depot holders ask govt to return their EPoS machines

Ration depot holders ask govt to return their EPoS machines

Members of the Amritsar Depot Holders’ Union hold a protest outside the DC office in Amritsar on Wednesday. Vishal Kumar



Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 21

Members of the Amritsar Depot Holders Union have served a seven-day ultimatum to the government to return their EPoS (electronic point of sale) machines for smooth distribution of food grain from their depots. These EPoS machines were taken away to run the government’s Ghar Ghar Muft Ration (doorstep ration delivery) scheme. A beneficiary can avail the ration from the fair shop only after registering on the EPoS.

Holding a protest led by union president Sanjeev Kumar outside the office of the Deputy Commissioner on Wednesday, the depot holders alleged that these biometric machines were taken away to run the government’s ambitious scheme over two months ago.

Sanjeev Kumar termed the ambitious doorstep ration delivery scheme to ensure hassle-free delivery of ration to the beneficiaries a damp squib. He said the beneficiaries were harassing them to release the ration after learning online about the availability of stocks while they cannot do so in the absence of EPoS machines.

The union president said machines taken away from them have been released to smart shops being run by Markfed. Under the government’s scheme to deliver services at doorsteps, Markfed established 60 Model Fair Shops (MFS). Seventy mobile vans under the public distribution scheme too would be operational soon. For this, Markfed entered into a contract with flour mills and will also provide subsidised wheat flour to individuals belonging to economically weaker sections, handicapped, widows and the elderly. Earlier, wheat grain used to be given to the beneficiaries.

Expressing surprise at the decision of the government, Manish Kumar, vice-president of the union, recalled that the AAP had announced to create more employment opportunities once it forms the government in state. However, in their case, about 18,000 depot holders in the state, including nearly 1,850 in Amritsar, are finding it tough to earn their living. He said it even failed to provide at least 200 cards per depot to ensure equal earning opportunity for depot holders.

Sartaj Singh, District Food Supplies Controller, said ration for distribution through the depot holders under the Public Distribution Scheme (PDS) would be released soon. He said there was no question of a dearth of beneficiaries as there were about 3.15 lakh card holders in the district. Of these, about 35,000 would receive ration through the Model Fair Shops and 70 mobile vans.

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