THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The ‘pre-populated’ forms for determining the ‘priority sector’ under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) will be distributed to ration card holders up to January 19, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Anoop Jacob said.
The photography camps under the aegis of ration shops will be held from January 19 to March 4, he told reporters here on Friday. “There will be one camp for every 1,000 card holders. The ration cards will be distributed within six months,” he said. By July, the government is also planning to hold social audits to weed out ineligible persons from the list. To be held locally, the audit will be conducted by five-member committees which will include the rationing inspector, the village officer and the panchayat secretary concerned.
The current APL, BPL cards will go once NFSA is enforced. The BPL/AAY cards will be replaced with ‘Priority’ sector cards. According to the minister, the ‘Priority’ sector will have 1.54 crore card holders. “In fact, 54 lakh cardholders will be newly included in this sector,” the minister said. This will also include 12-13 lakh of the existing 42 lakh APL card holders (state subsidy), Civil Supplies Commissioner Shyam Jagannathan said.
Under the Act, Kerala is entitled to 14.25 lakh tonnes of food grains a year. “The primary focus is on including all eligible cardholders in the priority list. Ineligible people will go,” Anoop Jacob said.
During a visit last month, Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had said that 39.5 per cent urban households and 52.63 per cent rural ones in Kerala would be covered under NFSA. In all, 1.54 crore people in Kerala will benefit from NFSA. Priority card holders would be issued rice at Rs 3 per kg and wheat at Rs 2 per kg. The State Government is planning to enforce NFSA by March 31.
All can get Ration Cards
T’Puram: Nothing will stand in your way in getting a ration card just because you don’t own a house, said the government officials. The department has not denied cards to anyone citing this as an excuse, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Anoop Jacob said on Friday. Nor has the department issued any instruction in this regard, the minister added. “All that is required is an attestation from the house owner issued by the local body. Separate families living in a house having a single house number also will be issued cards. There is no basis for the complaint that cards will be denied to anyone who doesn’t own a house,” he said.