Punjab government's new Atta-Dal Scheme to roll out on April 1; beneficiaries to get ration through biometric system

The scheme, renamed as Smart Ration Card Scheme will now have 1.41 crore beneficiaries and will be implemented from April 1 this year.

Published: 26th March 2018 12:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th March 2018 12:20 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHANDIGARH: Now pulses, sugar and tea will be part of the new Atta-Dal scheme of Punjab Government which has been renamed as Smart Ration Card Scheme and will now have 1.41 crore beneficiaries and will be implemented from April 1 this year. The beneficiaries will get the ration only after they give their biometric details at the notified retail outlets.

For the last six months, the beneficiaries under the atta-dal scheme were only getting 30 Kg wheat at Rs 2 per kg under the National Food Security Mission of the Union Government. And were not getting 500 gram of pulses (Dal) per person per month at Rs 20 per kg. 

As for the past two years the atta-dal scheme of the state government is almost defunct, due to financial constraints, and with the price of pulses shooting up.

The state government procures the wheat needed for the above scheme under the De-Centralized Procurement (DCP) scheme and the same is stored at 269 dedicated DCP godowns and is distributed through 16,738 Fair Price Shops (FPS) under its bi-annual distribution model with the approval of Union Government to the beneficiaries in 30 kg sealed bags at the rate of Rs 2 per kg twice a year. 

The priority household category beneficiaries get 5 kg wheat per month whereas the Anna Antodaya Yojna category families get 35 kg wheat per month. The state government distributes 8.70 lakh MT wheat annually.

It is learnt that under the new atta-dal scheme the state government will give half a Kilogram of pulses (dal) to every beneficiary at Rs 20 per Kg, also one Kg sugar and 100 grams of tea will also be given at subsidised rates. For this the state food and civil supplies department has written to the finance department to allocate Rs 500 crore annually in the coming state budget which will be presented this month.

Not only this the government has put in place all parameters to stop any pilferage in the distribution of ration through fair prices shops in the state as the biometric system has been put in place.

The beneficiaries will have to carry ration cards as just a biometric impression on the machine will enable them to take away their share. As they will have to provide their Aadhaar number and other details at ePOS (point of sale) machines being installed at all government ration depots. So far linked 100 per cent of the beneficiaries with their Aadhaar cards and their list has been uploaded on the department's website.

On a trial basis already in Mohali, Fategarh sahib, Mansa and Patiala this ePOS system has been implemented and from April 1, this system will start in the while state.

Six lakh fake beneficiaries identified. All the 1.141 crore beneficiaries have been linked to Aadhar card and in the survey carried out by the food and civil supplies department in the last six months around 6 lakh fake beneficiaries have been identified and taken out from the Atta-Dal scheme.

Beneficiary to be informed by SMS

The beneficiary will be informed through  SMS that the ratio has reached the concerned fair price shop and also been told that for how many days the ration will be distributed. From now on no weighing in these shop like wheat the tea, sugar and pulses will also come in proper packs.

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