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Punjab’s food and civil supplies department is in the process of acquiring point-of-sale (PoS) machines for fair price shops to bring transparency in distribution and check pilferage under the public distribution system (PDS). The machines are handheld devices which would allow Aadhaar authentication at the moment of distribution, ensuring that beneficiaries receive their allocated ration, a spokesperson said. The PoS machine also has a scale, which will ensure that the beneficiary receives their full amount of ration. Additionally, these PoS machines allow real-time location information, allowing the department to track the movement of foodgrains from godowns to the receipt of ration beneficiary at the PoS, the spokesperson said. The spokesperson said the device related to the computerisation of operations at fair price shops is based on Aadhaar authentication. All fair price shops (FPSs) would be equipped with PoS terminals for the purpose of authenticating and verifying beneficiaries before commodity distribution, he said. One crucial feature of the process is that the closing balances are updated in database through all PoS transaction from FPS. PoS terminal comes with inbuilt fingerprint scanner designed for PDS and all Aadhaar-based transactions, the spokesperson said. It was based on charge coupled device fingerprint and comes with connectivity options like GSM/GPRS, CDMA and Ethernet, he said. PoS supports interfaces with all types of payment gateways and Aadhaar server with related logical interfaces for magnetic stripe reader and smart card reader for Aadhaar authentication. Spokesperson said it would reduce diversion, besides ensuring transparency in the movement of wheat from de-centralised procurement godown to the PoS.
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