Over a lakh ineligible ration card beneficiaries identified in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: If you are collecting PDS items like Re 1/kg rice from two places with the help of separate ration cards, then beware, because with linking of Aadhar and ration cards now made mandatory, such duplication & bogus beneficiaries are under government scanner.

The Food Supplies Department has asked collectors of all districts to ensure that around 34. 52 lakh beneficiaries who have not linked their Aadhar with ration cards should immediately do the same by August 31. The government has issued some strict instructions that the beneficiaries who do not link their biometric identification with the ration card, will be ineligible under the Food Security Act and lose subsidized PDS rice. In this regard, the district authorities have been asked to create awareness at panchayat and block levels.

Food Supplies Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain said people having Aadhar card will not be deprived of the PDS and those who don’t have the card, should apply for the biometric ID as soon as possible.

As per government sources, more than a lakh beneficiaries have been identified lifting PDS rice under multiple ration cards and the number could rise even further when Aadhar-ration card linkage of all beneficiaries is completed. While the State government had earlier fixed July 31 as the deadline for linking Aadhar and ration card, the time limit has been extended till August 31.

Sources claimed that around 3.23 crore people from the State are covered under the National Food Security Act and there is provision for inclusion of 3.26 crore people under the scheme. Recently, citing that many eligible people have been left out of the NFSA, the State government implemented its own food security scheme under which so far 24.98 lakh people have been enrolled.

However, even as the government has stipulated August 31 deadline for Aadhar-ration card linking and also directed the concerned authorities to ensure its implementation as soon as possible, reports of people being denied PDS rice due to lack of such linking have come to the fore.

“For last one-and-a-half-years we have been deprived of ration benefits. When I sought help from Municipal authorities, they said that I should move the Sub-collector. But there too my pleas were not heard,” said Guru Nayak, a beneficiary from Berhampur.