Online Grocery Firms May Help Delhi Govt Deliver Ration to 17 Lakh Houses: Report

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The Delhi government is reportedly looking to modernise the public distribution system (PDS) of rations, and has approached a number of online grocery delivery startups for the same. Talks are said to be in early stages right now, with a report stating that services like BigBasket, Grofers and JioMart have been approached by the Arvind Kejriwal government for the same. While some startups have already held online meetings with government officials for the proposed project, other startups have received letters to participate in the process.

According to a report by The Economic Times, the project will come under the Delhi government’s Mukhyamantri Ghar Ghar Ration Yojna. Under the scheme, the government will provide subsidised ration such as packaged rice, sugar and wheat flour to an estimated 17 lakh households in the National Capital Territory. To help with the process, online grocery delivery startups will seemingly help with their on-ground delivery logistics setup to bring the entire ration distribution process online. Right now, the PDS of rations are operated through designated government outlets in specific areas.

In July, the Delhi government passed a motion to convert the ration distribution process from offline outlets to an online, doorstep delivery model, which may streamline the way government-backed ration distribution is operated. According to ET’s report, along with the online grocery delivery startups, a number of e-commerce logistics firms have also been approached by the Delhi government to help bring the process online. If the project is undertaken successfully, Delhi will follow in the footsteps of the Rajasthan government, which has already partnered with Future Group Retail to help bring the public ration distribution process online.

The move is the latest example of how online services can help transform archaic processes used in the official sectors, and in turn, streamline operations. Converting the ration delivery process into a home delivery model will help reduce regular long queues at PDS outlets, which is critical especially in times such as right now, when social distancing is imperative to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.