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Delhi fair price stores to be linked to biometrics system by May 2016


Delhi’s fair price shops, which distribute major commodities such as staple food grains, will be linked to India’s national biometric system by early next year, according to a report by NDTV.

The government’s move to link the fair price shops with the biometric system is designed to prevent potential corruption and irregularities in the Public Distribution System (PDS)

“The process of installing biometric system in fair price shops has started,” Food and Supplies Minister Imran Hussain said in response to a question raised by AAP MLA Ajesh Yadav during the Assembly’s ongoing winter session. “The procedure of e-tender is underway in this regard and the project is expected to be implemented by May 2016.”

Hussain said that the agency has put a temporarily halt on issuing new BPL ration cards in Delhi as new provisions to the Food Security Act (FSA) will transfer old card holders (BPL) to the selected priority household families category (PR-S).

In Delhi, PDS has a network of about 2,300 fair price shops, which serves nearly 1.97 million card holders. The FSA will cover about 7.3 million people (about 44%of total population) in Delhi.

“There is a proposal to maintain a list of the verified applications in order of preference,” said Hussain. “As soon as the prescribed numbers will be available, the ration cards will be issued.”

In addition to detecting any irregularities, linking the fair price shops’ to the national biometric system will also ensure that all transactions are recorded in real-time for monitoring purposes.

Previously reported, the Indian government admitted to India’s Supreme Court that Aadhaar cardholders can opt out of the unique identification scheme if they wish by blocking data embedded on the cards.

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