Agreeing with AAP, LG suspends current ration distribution scheme, orders probe

Arvind Kejriwal Anil Baijal
Arvind Kejriwal Anil Baijal

New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) Agreeing to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s proposal, Lt Governor Anil Baijal on Monday suspended the e-PoS system in the distribution of ration and also ordered Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) to probe alleged misuse of OTP authentication in delivery.

Under e-POS (Electronic Point of Sale) system, beneficiaries are given ration through biometric identification. The One Time Password (OTP) provision is used in case the biometric identification of beneficiary fails under the e-POS system.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government had been demanding the scrapping of the system.

Hinting at giving his nod to the AAP’s ambitious doorstep delivery of ration scheme, Baijal asked Kejriwal government to take prior approval of the Central government 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,” said a statement from the LG office.

It also said that he hoped that 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,” the statement said, adding that he was surprised to receive a proposal to suspend the operation of e-PoS devices which the AAP government themselves were very keen to introduce a few months back.

Earlier this month, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia claimed that the government has found open theft in delivery of ration in the city, and demanded suspension of the Food and Supplies Commissioner.

Based on inquiries, he had said the OTP provision has been misused and that ration has been siphoned off during the month of March on a number of cards that appeared to be fake.

“The LG has referred the entire matter to the ACB in view of the seriousness of the allegations made for an expeditious investigation. L-G also assured that strict action would be taken against anyone found guilty,” the L-G office said in response to his allegations.

On the AAP government’s move for doorstep delivery of ration, Baijal’s office said that they have “no objection to implementing the same” given the “elected government is convinced that sufficient checks and balances have been put in place” in the proposed scheme and “the issue highlighted by him in the previous note has been addressed”.

It however added that 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, would have to be met before the scheme is implemented.

“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,” the statement said.


Related Posts