Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Taking note of rampant theft of public distribution system (PDS) items, the Odisha government has decided to install Global Positioning System (GPS) in each vehicle carrying these items from the depot.

A decision to this effect was taken at a review meeting of the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department presided over by Principal secretary of the department Pradipta Mohapatra at the State Secretariat here today.

“The vehicles used by the level-2 contractors for carrying PDS items from the depot to the retailer points will have mandatory GPS tracking system so that we will be able to track their movement,” Mohapatra told media persons after the meeting.

Talking about payment of procurement price to the farmers, he said online payment to the tune of Rs 2600 crore has already been made to the account of the farmers.

He also informed that the state government has a target to procure 40 lakh tonne Kharif paddy of which about 50 percent (20.54 lakh tonne) of Kharif paddy has been procured.

He further said there has been an improvement in the volume of milling of paddy. “The millers, who are taking paddy for milling, were told that they will be entitled to take more paddy if they deliver the quantity of rice as much as possible as per their milling capacity. The decision of the government has paid off as compared to last year where the rice delivery was 12 percent has gone up to about 25 percent this year. We are trying to ensure zero default in the delivery of rice during 2016-17 procurement year,” he added.

Besides, Mohapatra also said a decision has been taken to set up point of sale (POS) machines in all block headquarters by March this year and throughout the state by June this year.