Get financial services along with ration at shops


Fair price shops in the country that many thousands are going to double up as financial services agents for the masses,  a move that will cataylse the process of financial inclusion and boost digital connectivity in remote areas.

The Fair price shops license holders in the process will find additional sources of income that in which will serve as an incentive to remain in the trade and also ensure a wider reach of the public distribution system.

Over 3 lakh common service centers are currently delivering assorted electronic services to people.

Including registrations for Aadhaar and PAN cards also booking of train tickets and music downloads other things checking of bank balance and accessing information relating to the eligibility of various schemes to citizens in rural areas.

The ministry of electronics and information technology’s Digital India program plan is to increase the number of common service centers s to cover close to 6 lakh villages in the next couple of years.

As many as 8,000 common service canters are currently attached to Fair price shops, the government has a target to set up another 10,000 such service centers in the next year with the Fair price shops outlets.

Last-mile service canters for implementation of the National Food Security Act a memorandum of understanding exists between the department of food and public distribution, Meity to revamp Fair price shops as common service centers.

The outlets that provide both functions are now located in Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand also Rajasthan, and Tamil Nadu.

Encouraging FPS owners to provide a host of services under the common service centers platform, besides acting as banking correspondent for providing financial services. Secretary DFPD, told FE.

There are 5.34 lakh Fair price shops in the country distributing on an average 60-70 million tonnes of subsidized food grain annually under NFSA to more than 80 crore beneficiaries.

Official sources said there is the scope of generating additional income from Fair price shops as a large number of people visit these outlets for getting their monthly entitlement of grains.

The food ministry is currently working on a plan to give a distinct color code for those Fair price shops that are also used as common service centers for distinguishing them as public services delivery points.

The ministry of collaboration with the department of financial services in the finance ministry also the State Bank of India.

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