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Bring back proxy procedure in all ration shops, senior citizens urge Tamil Nadu govt

Until last May, senior citizens over 80 years of age were exempted from purchasing commodities in person.

Bring back proxy procedure in all ration shops, senior citizens urge Tamil Nadu govt
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CHENNAI: Senior citizens above 80 years of age have urged the State government to review the new order which makes it mandatory for all heads of families to visit fair price shops in Tamil Nadu to get essential commodities every month.

According to the Food and Consumer Protection Department officials, in all the 35,169 Fair Price Shops (25,580 full-time shops and 9,580 part-time shops), where every family head or other card member including senior citizens above 80 years of age, will now have to come in person and register their fingerprints or iris in the biometric PoS devices to get essential goods, has come into force since this June. Until last May, senior citizens over 80 years of age were exempted from purchasing commodities in person.

“From 2022, since the senior citizens above 80 years of age cannot come and collect the ration items in person, they should take an alternate person and produce before their concern tahsildar and get his letter for using a proxy to avail commodities instead of the concerned senior citizens,” senior citizen R Rajagopalan from Nanganallur said, adding that the department of Co-Operative, Food Supply, and Consumer Protection has cancelled the practice of buying commodities from the ration shop from May. According to the sources, the government has cancelled the proxy procedure which was introduced two years ago.

However, Nataraj, another senior citizen from Velacherry said it is mandatory to avail the ration items monthly.

“So far, our authorised representatives have been purchasing the ration items instead of us. Now, claiming the new biometric PoS machine and the new procedure, they deliver commodities only on mandatory registration of the family head or concern card members’ fingerprint or iris. Shop staff say that the relevant family members must come in person. But as there is a shortage of tur dal and palm oil in the ration shops, it is distressing for us to have to frequent the shops at this vulnerable age,” he told DT Next.

Further, he said, “Considering our age and health, we urge the government to re-enforce the earlier proxy procedure.”

Ramakrishna N
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