BANGALORE: The state government will implement the Prevention of Blackmarketing and Maintenance of Supply of Essential Commodities Act,1980, to check hoarding.
“This Act is more powerful than the Goonda Act,” said Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao while replying to a debate in the Council on Tuesday on the drawbacks of the Anna Bhagya scheme.
He said any hoarder can be detained for six months without giving reasons, and filing of FIR is also not required under the Act. Rao said the government has written to the High Court Chief Justice requesting him to suggest names of three retired judges for the Advisory Board which would implement this Act.
In his 90-minute reply, Rao said according to the Food Security Act, the state had to provide foodgrains to 4.03 crore people and this number had been matched by issuing ration cards to 1.03 crore BPL/Anthyodhaya families.
“From now on, BPL card holders will be referred to as priority households,” he said. Under the Food Security Act, the Centre has made it mandatory to supply food grains to 75 per cent rural and 50 per cent urban population, he said.
The minister assured the members that all bogus/ghost ration cards would be eliminated in the next six months. The government has made it mandatory for 28 lakh new ration card applicants to compulsorily give the EPIC number or Aadhaar card number along with the application forms to help the department match the number given by applicants with the available data.
The minister said the government has decided to give permission to only co-operative societies, Taluk Agricultural Produce Co-operative Marketing Society Limited (TAPCMS) and women self-help groups to set up fair price shops.
He said Rural Development and Panchayat Minister H K Patil had been requested to build a godown in each panchayat after which Food and Civil Supplies Department can construct buildings to house fair price shops. This would eliminate the dependence on private fair shop owners in the coming years, he said.