CHANDIGARH: After Haryana, it’s the neighbouring state of Punjab that has digitalised the Public Distribution System (PDS)--linking the ration cards with Adhaar cards--in a bid to prevent the ration depot owners from siphoning off the ration meant for the ‘poor’ and curb the practice of using bogus cards for collecting the ration from different outlets.
As part of the new development, RuPay Cards designed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) will be issued to 29.44 lakh beneficiaries i.e. 94.11 per cent of the total of 31.28 lakh ration card holders by the state food and civil supplies department and they will avail the ration online from any PDS depot in the state.
One will have to swipe the card at the depot and will be issued the ration minimising pilferages and bogus consumers. As these cards will be linked to the bank account of the individual, the money will also be debited from their account directly to the account of depot holder.
“Also these cards will be linked with the bank account of the beneficiary, thus no fake subsidy. It is still to be decided that the beneficiary will pay full amount to get the ration and will be transferred subsidy afterwards in his or her account or will get the ration at subsidised rates,” said a senior officer.
He said that all the details of the beneficiaries have been given to the banks by the state food and civil supplies department so that these can be linked with Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) accounts. Also, each beneficiary in the state will get a life insurance cover of Rs 30,000.
Punjab is said to be at eleventh position on account of bogus ration cards in the country as the state food and supplies department have detected around 8,000 bogus ration cards in a survey.
West Bengal is at the first position in the country as far as bogus ration cards are concerned with over 62.42 lakh followed closely by Karnataka with 52.77 lakh. As there are a total of 1.62 crore bogus ration cards in the country, the exchequer is burdened by Rs 10,230 crore in subsidy as the ration worth this amount goes to the fake beneficiaries.
The Haryana government unlike Punjab has not issued digital cards but have put biometric machines at all the depots. Hence, beneficiaries will have to get their finger scanned in order to avail the benefits. The programme is set to be launched on July 1, 2017.