Getting APL cards to be easier

Obtaining a ration card for those who are Above Poverty Line (APL) will soon become a lot easier. The state government has decided to do away with the system wherein an applicant should have an introducer for seeking a ration card.

An announcement to this effect was made by Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies Dinesh Gundu Rao in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday when many Opposition MLAs complained that obtaining ration cards has become a very cumbersome exercise in villages.

The minister said that there was no need to produce income certificate to get the cards either by APL or BPL families. However, APL card seekers must carry their LPG connection document (blue book).

GPs overburdened

V Sunil Kumar (BJP) said that enrolment work for ration cards has been entrusted to gram panchayats, which are already overloaded with work. The local bodies also lack computers and proper Internet connectivity. It is better to involve private computer operators in villages as is being done in Bangalore. Panchayats are  not able to feed the details of more than four to five families in a day, he said. Similar views were expressed by his party collegaue Visveshwara Hegde Kageri.

K G Bopaiah (BJP) said that in Kodagu, income certificate is being demanded while receiving applications for ration cards.

The minister said that it is not possible to entrust the work to private operators in villages as panchayats are maintaining certain confidential documents. He said his department is ready to hand over the money collected from the applicants to the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj department. For each card, Rs 50 is collected as processing fee. The money collected would be given to the RDPR department, he added.

The government has already received 16 lakh new applications seeking the BPL cards. “We will complete processing them in the next two months and issue new cards to eligible applicants,” he said.

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