Govt cancels over 2 crore fake ration cards in India
Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution announced today that 2.16 crore ration cards have been deemed as fake and have been deleted.
“As per the information reported by State/UTs Government up till July 15, approximately 2.16 crore number of de-duplicated/ghost/ineligible/forged/ fake ration cards have been deleted by the State/UT Governments during the years 2013 to 2016,” the Ministry said in a statement.
Ration cards in India have been useful for providing food grains at a subsidized rate.
According to the National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) up to 75% of the rural population and up to 50% of the urban population of the country receive highly subsidized food grains currently.
A total of 81, 34, 91,135 beneficiaries under NFSA/ Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) are to be identified by respective State/UT Governments and State/UT wise number of beneficiaries are fixed.
This information was given by the Minister of State Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, C.R Chaudhary in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.
However the number of fake ration cards have been increasing since decades.
In December 2015, over 1.2 crore bogus ration cards were said to be deleted by the State, as reported by the Ministry.
An article by The Hindu on August 2 reported that in the past five years the Government has removed more than 4.85 lakh bogus ration cards in India out of which less than a lakh cases were dealt with.
The report stated that the Civil Supplies CID has arrested only a mere total of 30,340 persons in the last five years for violations and a total of 41,905 cases were detected under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
The Minister said that under ‘End to End Computerisation Programme,’ all State/UT Governments have been requested to digitize the data of beneficiaries and to review the lists of beneficiaries for the purpose of deletion of ineligible families and inclusion of eligible families.
Under the said Programme, following steps have also been initiated to bring transparency in distribution of food grains and to check its diversion:
•Supply Chain Management
•Application of IT tools for functioning of PDS.
•Online/Toll free Grievance Redressal Mechanism
The minister said that 25 States have started implementing online allocation system, 15 States have started supply chain management module and all State/UTs have started Online/Toll free Grievance Redressal Mechanism System.
How will the new system work?
On the basis of allocation Orders issued by department of Food & Public Distribution, Food Corporation of India [FCI] issues food grains [Wheat/Rice/Coarse grains] from FCI Depots to State Government and Government Departments.
“The procedure for payment by dealers is laid down by the State/UTs and further allocation orders within the State/UTs are issued by the respective State/UT Governments,” the Ministry said in a statement.
After making advance payment to FCI, State Government lifts food grains from FCI Depots and ensures delivery of food grains at Fair Price Shop through their agencies for distribution to beneficiaries.
“In order to ensure timely availability of food grains, Government of India has been issuing orders for allocation of food grains under TPDS/NFSA in advance and has directed the State/UT Governments to lift the food grains before the allocation month.
Besides, Advisories are issued from time to time to State/UT Governments to lift the food grain from FCI Depots well within time limit to improve the off take of the same so that the same can be made available for distribution to beneficiaries under TPDS,” C.R Chaudhary said in a statement.