LG or­ders probe into ra­tion theft Says Will Clear Doorstep De­liv­ery Scheme If Govt Is Sure Checks Are In Place

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY - AlokKNMishra@ times­group.com

New Delhi: Fol­low­ing the AAP govern­ment’s re­peated al­le­ga­tions of “open theft” of ra­tion, LG Anil Bai­jal on Mon­day agreed to sus­pend the ePoS (elec­tronic point of sale) sys­tem in the dis­tri­bu­tion of sub­sidised ra­tion and also or­dered the Anti-Cor­rup­tion Branch (ACB) to probe the al­leged “pil­fer­age of ra­tion” through the use of OTPs.

The de­vices are be­ing used for bio­met­ric iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of the sub­sidised ra­tion ben­e­fi­cia­ries in the city from Jan­uary 1. In a state­ment on Mon­day, the LG’s of­fice also hinted at ap­prov­ing the do- orstep de­liv­ery of ra­tion scheme pro­vided the govern­ment takes prior ap­proval of the Cen­tre. “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 (LG) in the pre­vi­ous note have been ad­dressed, he has no ob­jec­tion to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the same,” it said.

On sus­pend­ing the e-Pos de­vices, the state­ment said Bai­jal had con­curred with the CM’s pro­posal and “hoped that all le­gal, fi­nan­cial and ad­min­is­tra­tive im­pli­ca­tions of this de­ci­sion have be- en taken into ac­count by the elected govern­ment”. The LG, how­ever, opined that the very tech­nol­ogy that en­abled de­tec­tion of fraud­u­lent trans­ac­tions should not be ul­ti­mately dis­carded.

On Fri­day, Ke­jri­wal had urged the LG to ap­prove the govern­ment’s doorstep de­liv­ery scheme and scrap the e-PoS de­vices. He had also de­manded sus­pen­sion of food com­mis­sioner K R Meena to al­low aprobe into the al­leged “largescale pil­fer­age of food­grains”.

The al­leged mis­use of OTPs came to light when food and civil sup­plies min­is­ter Im­ran Hus­sain on March 21asked the de­part­ment to pro­vide the en­tire data re­lated to the sys­tem. The LG of­fice state­ment said Bai­jal was sur­prised to re­ceive the sus­pen­sion pro­posal as the govern­ment was keen to in­tro­duce the de­vices just a few months ago in view of its cru­cial role in pre­vent­ing di­ver­sion of food­grains and weed­ing out lakhs of in­el­i­gi­ble ben­e­fi­cia­ries. “Since the pro­posal has been re­ceived again, LG has con­curred with it.”

As the CM and Hus­sain had made se­ri­ous al­le­ga­tions, the LG has re­ferred the mat­ter to ACB. Strict ac­tion will be taken against any­one found guilty, the state­ment said. The LG, how­ever, said that as the same e-PoS ma­chines were pro­posed to be used for bio­met­ric au­then­ti­ca­tion in the doorstep de­liv­ery scheme, it was not clear how the same is­sues would be ad­dressed then.

LG Anil Bai­jal agreed to sus­pend the e-PoS sys­tem in the dis­tri­bu­tion of sub­sidised ra­tion

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