Submit applications for APL ration cards from Nov 1

52 lakh bogus cards weeded out till now, says minister

Food and Civil Supplies Minister D N Jeevaraj said on Friday that his department will start receiving applications for new ration cards (above poverty line - APL) from
November 1.

Speaking to reporters, he said pressure was mounting on the department to quickly process the applications that were already received. There were long queues of applicants at the local offices to submit their bio-metric details and family photos. Hence, the department had stopped receiving fresh online applications about three months ago, he said.

Besides, October 20 is the last date for temporary BPL card holders to submit their bio-metric details and family photos. The department had no plans to extend the deadline further. So, there will be no hurdles for receiving fresh applications, he said.


Officials directed

The minister said he had directed the officials to issue new ration cards, both APL and BPL, to all the applicants before November 15.

The response from the people to submit their biometric details was initially not encouraging and the system too had initially encountered some problems. Now, things have stabilised and people are coming forward in good numbers, he said.

52 lakh bogus cards

Jeevaraj said about 52 lakh bogus ration cards, a majority of them belonging to the below poverty line (BPL) category, had been weeded out, after putting the bio-metric system in place.

Of an estimated 58 lakh temporary BPL card holders, about 38 lakh had submitted their biometric details, seeking permanent cards. This, in other words, means that the remaining 20 lakh temporary BPL cards holders may not actually exist. This is over and above the 32 lakh bogus cards the department weeded out about six months ago. Currently, there are 99.58 lakh BPL cards and 39.15 lakh APL cards in the State, he said.

The department plans to install “point-of-sale” machines at all 20,499 fair price shops across the State by March next year to prevent the diversion of food grains at the fair price shop level, he said.

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