BHUBANESWAR: As more that two lakh beneficiaries of National Food Security Act (NFSA) have failed to meet the August 31 deadline for mandatory Aadhaar linking with ration cards, the State Government on Saturday further extended the time limit till September 15.
“In view of its promise that not a single deserving person shall be deprived of subsidised food, the State Government has allowed further time till September 15 for linking of ration cards with Aadhaar number. The Government allowed more time to ration card holders, who have not complied with the deadline, so that they can lift their monthly provision under the new system,” said Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain said.
The Government had earlier set July 31 as the deadline for linking Aadhaar with ration cards, but the date was extended till August 31. The Minister said over 84.36 lakh ration card holders out of 86.36 lakh families, covered under the food security programme, have linked their Aadhar numbers by August 30 which is 97.7 per cent. Similarly, 95.5 per cent individuals linked their Aadhaar numbers with ration cards during this period.
Aadhaar linkage with ration card was made mandatory after the launch of ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ scheme. The objective is to check corruption by eliminating ghost ration cards from the system, Swain added.
The State Government will implement the ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ scheme on a pilot basis in areas within Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) limits from September 1. The scheme will ensure inter-State portability of ration cards.
The Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department has directed the Khurda district administration to implement the scheme in 127 fair price shops in 67 Wards of BMC.
However, beneficiaries of National Food Security Act (NFSA) and State Food Security scheme will have to link their ration cards with Aadhaar numbers to avail the facility. Around 3.23 crore people of the State are covered under NFSA against 3.26 crore people eligible under the scheme.
Citing that several eligible people were left out of NFSA, the State Government implemented its own food security scheme under which 24.98 lakh people are given subsidised food grains.