KOLKATA: The West Bengal government is launching a drive to weed out the names of dead beneficiaries of Public Distribution System from its digital database. The need for the move arises as relatives of many of the dead beneficiaries do not surrender their digitised ration card and continue to take benefits from the PDS.
The state hopes to reduce expenditure by updating the database after weeding out the bogus beneficiaries. Accordingly, the food department of the state government has issued a notification to proceed with the weeding out process in three phases, each marked by a pro forma document.
Initially, details of deaths from January 2016 to May 2018 will be collected in specific format from municipalities, municipal corporations and government and private hospitals in urban areas and from gram panchayats, block offices and Public Health Centers for rural areas.
Pro forma document 'A' will have all the details of the deaths in the past two years. Block Development Officer or Food Rationing Officer will collect all the details and hand it over to respective food department inspectors. The inspectors will then check the list of the deceased with that of the digital database and create pro forma document 'B'. If the names of living beneficiaries come into the list by mistake, applicants can fill pro forma document 'C' and submit it to the gram panchayat or municipality which will then be rectified, according to the notification.
The state government hopes to complete the first phase of deletion of bogus beneficiaries by September 30 and in the next phase, the lists will be prepared every month and the deletion completed by the 7th of the successive month.
Food and supplies minister Jyotipriya Mallick said that the move will save a lot of expenditure of the cash-strapped state government. "The quota for beneficiaries under National Food Security Act (NFSA) is completed. After deleting the dead beneficiaries, we hope to bring fresh beneficiaries under the NFSA Act," he said.