In a move to weed out bogus cards and arrest leakages in public distribution scheme, the Telangana government is contemplating issuance of new ration cards.
The exercise is aimed at arresting leakages in the public distribution scheme (PDS) and to reduce the burden on the exchequer proportionately. The issue was extensively discussed at a review meeting of the Civil Supplies Department here on Friday, wherein Finance Minister Eatala Rajender, who also holds the Civil Supplies portfolio, raised the issue of existence of higher number of ration cards than the number of households in Telangana.
Official sources stated that there were 1,47,02,479 ration cards existing in Telangana including 91,94,808 white ration cards against the total number of 84,20,662 households. The number of households is not a very old calculation but it was the outcome of the enumeration taken up as part of the 2011 Census, the latest demographic data the government has in its hands.
Yet, the demand for issuance of new ration cards is high in all districts across Telangana including Hyderabad. “The government is puzzled over the increasing demand for new ration cards, in spite of having them in excess of the number of households. The white cards alone are in excess by over 18 lakh compared to the total households”, officials stated.
“The government is spending more than Rs. 1,800 crore per annum on the PDS including subsidised rice sold at Re. 1-a-kilo. The burden on the exchequer will go up by another Rs. 1,000 crore if the National Food Security Act is implemented as it is”, official sources told The Hindu.
Sources said information technology will be utilised in the issuance of new ration cards to minimise chances of bogus cards.
Total No. of Households in Telangana (as per 2011 Census) :84,20,662
Total No. of all ration cards:1,47,02,479
No. of white ration cards:91,94,808
No. of pink ration cards:15,07,599
No. of Antyodaya and other cards:40,00,072
Amount spent of PDS per annum:Rs. 1,800 crore
Courtesy: The Hindu