BANGALORE: Owing to the measures introduced to control circulation of fake ration cards among Below Poverty Line (BPL) families, the state government will save about Rs 240 crore per year, Energy, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Shobha Karandlaje said here on Thursday.
Speaking to newsmen, Karandlaje added the Department of Food and Civil Supplies had cancelled about 31 lakh fake cards so far. This has eased financial burden on the state government.
According to her, earlier, the government used to spend about Rs 80 to 90 crore per month towards foodgrain subsidy, which has now reduced to about Rs 60 crore. The minister said that the state-run campaign against counterfeit cards would continue.
With the new ration cards applications being accepted online, the department has received over 29 lakh fresh applications till now. The department would issue new cards within two months, Shobha said.
On measures being taken to reduce or eliminate pilferage in the distribution of food grains, the minister said the entire process of delivering foodgrains from the Food Corporation of India (FCI) warehouses to state godowns has been computerised.
“The next target of the department is to monitor the movement of foodgrains from the state godowns to the fair price shops, which would soon be computerised,” she said.
The state government’s initiative has won the attention of other neighbouring states.
“West Bengal government has also sought information on the actions being taken in Karnataka to remove fake ration cards,” she added.
Karandlaje informed biometric cards will be soon introduced to fair price shops. “The government would install about 1,000 electronic gadgets on a pilot basis in 23,000 fair price shops across the state,” she said.