Withdraw ration card or face music, Minister tells the ineligible

Bhubaneswar: With just one day to go for the deadline to withdraw ration cards to expire, the Odisha government on Thursday warned card holding ineligible NFSA beneficiaries to submit their cards immediately or face legal action.

Addressing the media, Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare minister Sanjay Dasburma said cases will be registered against those who have obtained such ration cards by fraudulent means and did not apply for withdrawal.

“The government will initiate criminal proceedings against these people. Besides, market cost of the food grains taken by such persons shall be recovered from them as an arrear of land revenue with 10% rate of interest per annum,” he noted.

“In case of government employees, departmental proceedings shall be initiated against them,” the minister stated adding 1.60 lakh ineligible card holders have returned their cards so far.

With Odisha ministers facing the ire of the Opposition parties over alleged irregularities in selection of beneficiaries under NFSA, chief minister Naveen Patnaik had asked district collectors to exclude all ineligible families by January 15.

Patnaik issued this direction through video-conferencing while reviewing the implementation of NFSA in the state on January 12. The CM also asked the district collectors to distribute the due quota of rice and wheat for the month of January to all beneficiaries by January 31.