21-Jul-2018
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Soon, ration shops to become mini banks

Thiruvananthapuram July 4: Soon, people might be seen drawing cash from ATMs in ration shops. The facility is being implemented through Electronic Point of Sale (e-PoS) machine in the shops whereby ration shops will double as mini-banks.
 
The State Government has entered into agreement with Canara Bank to upgrade 100 select ration shops with cash drawing facility.
 
Ration shops from Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Kannur districts will be identified for the pilot scheme of the project.
 
Canara Bank will give the training for merchants to run the new facility. The 'ration shop-mini bank' scheme was proposed by the Civil Supplies department as a project to profit the merchants without incurring a loss to the government.
 
Though primary discussion in this regard was done between Civil Supplies department and bank authorities earlier, Reserve Bank of India's conditions proved a hindrance for the timely implementation.
 
Following a marathon discussion, the government approved the project on Monday.
 
Around 20 types of transactions including opening an account, cash transfer to other bank accounts, limited cash withdrawal; balance inquiry, immediate mobile payment system, pension disbursal, insurance payment and others could be done through the new facility at ration shops.
 
Educationally qualified and interested merchants will be selected for the scheme in the pilot level.
 
Canara Bank has fixed the remuneration for the ration shop owners for implementing the facility. A shop with 100 to 200 transactions will receive Rs. 2500 monthly. 
 
If it is above 200, they will receive Rs. 5000. For maintaining a savings account, shop owner will get Rs. 20.   Each temporary deposit, fixed deposit and Aadhaar-mobile linking will fetch them Rs. 5.
 
For accepting monthly dividends towards pension schemes, one rupee will be given.  Rs. 30 will be given for enrolling consumers in Pradhan Manthri Jyothi Bheema Yojana.  Rs. 50 will be given for enrolling members in Atal Pension Yojana.  Rs. 200 will be given for bank transanctions of self help groups.
 
The scheme will be implemented across the state if found successful.  Minister P. Thilothaman has asked the bank authorities to file a report within seven days stating when and how the scheme will be implemented.
 
A similar scheme has been implemented in Andhra Pradesh to deliver banking services for ration card holders.
The Civil Supplies department is also considering a scheme to retail non-Maveli products through ration shops.