State govt sets target to block nearly 1.5 cr fake ration cards
Kolkata: The state Food and Supplies department has set a target of blocking nearly 1.5 crore fake ration cards to recover yearly loss of around Rs 1,800 crore to the state's exchequer.
The department has already started identifying and blocking these fake ration cards. It has set a target of blocking all the fake cards within March as the department is committed to check the huge financial loss the government is enduring.
According to sources, the Food and Supplies department has already blocked around 93 lakh digital ration cards, which include those of the deceased, and some fake cards. Following the act of blocking these digital ration cards, the department has managed to save over Rs 90 crore. The officials of the department believe that the remaining fake cards will be blocked by the end of March this year. Once it is done, the state government can save around Rs 150 crore every month.
Fake cards have been demarcated in red colour and have also been uploaded on the portal of the department. Ration cannot be withdrawn from shops by producing these fake cards. The beneficiaries can prove by producing Aadhaar cards and other documents that their cards are legitimate, then only they will be unblocked. There have been instances where around 6 lakh beneficiaries out of a total of 99 lakh cards blocked so far, have produced genuine documents and their cards have been unblocked.
According to a report, it was found that the cards which are under the state Food Safety scheme have been deactivated in large numbers compared to those which are under the national food security scheme.
Out of the total 93 lakh cards blocked so far in the state, around 34 lakh cards have been deactivated as the existence of the beneficiaries could not be established while another 34 lakh ration cards have been deactivated as they were duplicated. As many as 25 lakh cards have been deactivated as the beneficiaries have died.