Around 4.39 crore ineligible/bogus ration cards have been weeded out across the country from 2013 to 2020 by state/UT governments, the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said on Friday.
These ration cards were cancelled as part of the technology-driven PDS reforms initiated across the country to modernise the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) and to improve transparency and efficiency in operations.
This was taken up through digitisation of ration cards/beneficiaries database, Aadhaar seeding, detection of ineligible/bogus ration cards, prevention of duplication of digitised data, updating migration/deaths of beneficiaries during the run-up to the implementation of NFSA.
Further, the respective quota under the National Food Security Act coverage is regularly utilised by states/UTs concerned for ‘Rightful Targeting’ of beneficiaries under the NFSA, i.e., inclusion/addition of other genuine and eligible beneficiaries/households by issuing new ration cards to them, while remaining within the respective ceiling limits of coverage defined for each state/UT under the Act, said the Ministry.
The NFSA provides coverage for 81.35 crore beneficiaries to receive highly subsidised foodgrains through TPDS, which is nearly two-third of the country’s population as per the census of 2011.
Presently, more than 80 crore persons in the country are receiving food grains (rice, wheat and coarse grains) at highly subsidised central issue prices of Rs 3, 2 and 1 per kg respectively under the NFSA on a monthly basis, the Ministry added.