BHUBANESWAR: Over 18.67 lakh beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act (NFSA) failed to meet the extended deadline of September 15 for mandatory Aadhaar linking with ration cards.
Informing this, Minister of Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Ranendra Pratap Swain said beneficiaries who could not link their ration cards with Aadhaar number due to medical grounds or compelling circumstances beyond their control can do so by giving reasonable proof.
Reiterating the State Government’s commitment that not a single deserving person will be deprived of subsidised food, Swain said old age beneficiaries and people with serious ailments unable to visit the rational card management centres will be given their monthly ration. Instruction has been issued to PDS dealers and field staff of the department to ensure that such beneficiaries are delivered their quota.
The Government had earlier set July 31 as the deadline for linking Aadhaar with ration cards, but the date was extended till August 31 and subsequently to September 15 following a request from the cardholders.
The Minister said 88,28,419 out of 90,13,369 families, covered under the food security programme, have linked their Aadhaar numbers by September 15.
While ration cards have been distributed to 3,25,98,000 persons under the scheme, 3,07,30,197 cardholders have completed the process of Aadhaar linking. The remaining 1,84,950 ration cards which have not been linked to Aadhaar number will be verified and scrapped if they are found to be ghost cards.
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 is providing subsidised food grains to 24.98 lakh people under its own food security scheme as they were left out of NFSA as per 2011 socio-economic caste census. The Minister further informed that 11.16 lakh farmers have registered their names with Aadhaar number for sale of surplus paddy during 2019-20 Kharif marketing season under the paddy procurement automation system (P-PAS).