State told to eliminate bogus ration cards
Promising to study the State’s request for an additional 1,82,848 metric tonnes of rice to meet its Re one-a-kg-rice scheme, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution K V Thomas on Thursday told Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to take steps to eliminate bogus ration cards in the State.
During his meeting with Siddaramaiah in New Delhi, Thomas said Karnataka was among the few states which have a large number of bogus ration cards and, steps should be taken to eliminate them.
During the meeting, attended by senior officials from the Food Ministry, Thomas reportedly said that unless ghost cards were eliminated, such subsidised food grains scheme would not reach the real beneficiaries.
Union Food Secretary Sudhir Kumar asked the chief minister and his team of officials to expedite the process of computerisation of ration cards and its delivery mechanism. Appreciating the computerisation of the Public Distribution System (PDS) in Karnataka, Sudhir Kumar suggested to the chief minister to take steps to complete it at the earliest.
“Normal allocation of food grains via PDS will continue to the State. Above that, we will look into it,” Thomas told reporters after the meeting.
Meets Prime Minister
Earlier, Siddaramaiah called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and requested him to take steps to allocate additional quantities of rice to the State.
Meanwhile, in a letter to Thomas, the chief minister said it will not be possible for the State to procure the required quantity of rice on its own, due to non-availability of the food grain in the market. “Therefore, without the support of the Centre, it will not be possible to implement the popular scheme in the State,” he said.
He has requested Thomas to provide an additional 1,134 MT at Antodaya Anna Yojane (AAY) rate, 1,45,803 MT at Below Poverty Line (BPL) rate and 35,911 MT at Above Poverty Line (APL).
The Food Corporation of India is currently providing about 1.42 MT of rice per month to the state under the public distribution system. At present, each BPL family gets 35 kg of wheat and rice every month through the ration shops. Rice is provided at
Rs 5.65 per kg, and wheat at Rs 4.15 per kg.
Siddaramaiah has announced the supply of 30 kg of rice per month at Re one per kg to an estimated 87 lakh BPL families from June 1.