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Delhi govt starts survey to check for inactive ration cards

Ration cards that remain inactive for three consecutive months, which is subsidised ration is not being collected by a beneficiary from fair price shops, are liable to be cancelled, according to the department's officials.

Delhi govt starts survey to check for inactive ration cards
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CM Arvind Kejriwal
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New Delhi

The Delhi government's food and supply department has started an on the ground checking exercise to track ration card beneficiaries who have not been collecting food grains for the last three-four months, officials said on Friday.

Ration cards that remain inactive for three consecutive months, which is subsidised ration is not being collected by a beneficiary from fair price shops, are liable to be cancelled, according to the department's officials.

They said that the survey to check for inactive ration cards had been started earlier this month. ''We have initiated an exercise to start field inspection of those beneficiaries who have not been taking ration regularly for three months. It is to ascertain the reason behind their inability to collect ration and also to check if there is any fake beneficiary,'' Food and Supply Commissioner Neeraj Semwal told PTI He said that appropriate action will be taken after the survey.

It has been observed that there are a number of beneficiaries who have not been taking ration for the last three to four months. The reasons are not known, Semwal said.

''So, I have asked officials to visit their places and ascertain the reasons. If anyone is found to be a fake case then their ration card will be cancelled and a new card will be added,'' he said.

However, the commissioner stressed that no beneficiary's ration card will be cancelled without valid reason. Semwal said that all factors behind not collecting ration will be thoroughly checked before any action.

There were over two lakh applications for ration cards which have been put on the pending list because Delhi's quota of 72.77 lakh ration cards is full, according to government data. The Delhi government distributes free ration to 72.77 lakh beneficiaries through e-POS (electronic-point of sale) devices under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013 and Pradhan Mantri Garib Anna Kalyan Yojana (PMGAKY) at across 2,000 fair price shops. The government has also started distribution of ration under the One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) scheme from July this year.

Food and Supply department officials said that in the survey officials will visit the houses of beneficiaries who are not collecting ration for three to four months to check if the person has gone to his hometown or is sick. 

If there is a genuine case such as illness or if the beneficiary is at his/her hometown, ration card will not be disconnected, they said. Officials said that with the use of e-PoS machines it has become easier to track beneficiaries who are not collecting subsidies food grains under NFSA. The Delhi government had suspended the use of ePoS machines in early 2018 following complaints of poor network leading to authentication failures and exclusion of genuine beneficiaries. It was resumed in July this year.

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