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  • PTI
  • LG suspends e-PoS system of ration distribution

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23:5 HRS IST

New Delhi, Apr 16 (PTI)
Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal today suspended the e-PoS system of ration distribution and ordered the Anti-Corruption Branch to investigate the alleged misuse of OTP authentication in delivery of ration.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia and Food & Supplies Minister Imran Hussain had demanded him to scrap the e-PoS (electronic point of sale) system, under which beneficiaries were given ration after biometric identification.

Although Baijal also hinted at approving the AAP government's ambitious doorstep delivery of ration scheme, he asked it to take the consent of the Centre before implementing it.

"Lt Governor Anil Baijal received the proposal for suspension of e-PoS devices from the CM and Minister (F&S) and concurred with the same," the L-G office said in a statement.

It said the L-G hoped all legal, financial and administrative implications of this decision have been taken into account by the Delhi government.

"The Lt Governor stated that we should not end up discarding the very technology that enabled detection of fraudulent transactions in the first place," it stated.

According to the statement, Baijal was "surprised" to receive a government proposal to suspend the operation of e-PoS devices which they themselves were keen to introduce a few months ago in view of its crucial role in preventing diversion of food grains.

Last week, Deputy Chief Minister Sisodia alleged that the government has found "open theft" in delivery of ration and demanded the suspension of Food and Supplies Commissioner K R Meena.

He said a preliminary inquiry into a sample of data indicated that the provision of OTP has been "misused" and ration has been "siphoned off" in March.

The One-Time Password (OTP) provision is used to give ration in case the biometric identification of beneficiary fails under the e-POS system.

Responding to Sisodia's allegations, the L-G office said: "The LG has referred the entire matter to the ACB in view of the seriousness of the allegations made for expeditious investigation. The L-G also assured that strict action would be taken against anyone found guilty."

Talking about the the government's doorstep delivery of ration scheme, the L-G's office said: "If the elected government is convinced that sufficient checks and balances have been put in place in the proposed doorstep delivery of ration scheme and the issue highlighted by him in the previous note have been addressed, he has no objection to the implementation of the same."

However, the statutory requirement of seeking prior approval of central government under Section 12(2)(h) of the National Food Security Act, 2013 - as pointed out by the Law Department in its note in the concerned File - would have to be met before the scheme is implemented, the statement stated.

"The Lt Governor hoped that action would be taken expeditiously by the elected government as per the advice of Law Department so that there is no further loss of time," it stated.

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