THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As many as 1,15,858 people surrendered their priority ration cards to the Civil Supplies Department when the last date for ineligible beneficiaries to voluntarily surrender their cards ended on July 15. Of them, 9,284 were in AAY category, 61,612 in the PHH, and 44,962 in NPS. The maximum number of cards were surrendered in Malappuram district 25,021 followed by Palakkad 13,038. Over 10,000 cards were surrendered in Ernakulam and Kozhikode.
Food and Civil Supplies Minister G R Anil said ineligible beneficiaries will be replaced with an equal number of eligible families. Also, the state has requested the Centre to increase the state’s quota of priority cardholders. The present number of 1,54,80,000 is low when compared to other states, he said.
The minister said that over Rs 500 crore will be spent on Onam special kits. The kit will have products of native PSUs and cooperatives. So far, the government has spent Rs 5,600 crore for free food kits. Twenty-six new Maveli stores will be opened in the state in August and September.