Government identifies 2.5 lakh ration shops to be upgraded as one-stop shops for providing e-services | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The government has identified nearly 2.5 lakh fair price shops (FPS) or ration shops to upgrade them as one-stop shops for providing different facilities including for e-services such as for paying utility bills and submitting PAN application. So far 39,000 such shops have been on-boarded as Common Service Centres (CSCs).
Officials said this move is set to have a huge impact considering that thousands of beneficiaries visit these shops and they can play a key role in taking e-services to the doorstep of the poor. “The food and public distribution ministry has urged all the states and UTs to provide the CSCs at the ration shops in collaboration with the CSC e-Governance India. We expect all states to accelerate this, which will ensure ease of living for people at large and improve the profitability of running the ration shops,” said an official.
Last week, the food ministry held a detailed discussion with the state governments on the options to improve the profitability of ration shops where the Tamil Nadu government made a presentation on the best practices to transform these outlets. The ration shops in the southern state are now selling commodities such as minor millets, grocery items and branded FMCG products in addition to subsidised wheat and rice.
According to the food ministry, around 10,000 ration shops in Maharashtra have got the ISO certification and Tamil Nadu is also working towards adopting a similar model of certification of the ration shops in the state.
Meanwhile, the Centre has urged all the states and UTs to identify and develop 75 model ration shops in each district and share the list with the food ministry.
There are a total of over five lakh ration shops across the country and nearly 80 crore identified beneficiaries get subsidised foodgrain under the National Food Security Act from these outlets. The government has also been distributing free foodgrain under the PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojna through these ration shops.

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