Sunday, August 14, 2022

States have exclusion criteria to weed out wrong PDS beneficiaries: Food ministry

It’s not just Uttar Pradesh but several other states have their own exclusion criteria to weed out wrong and undeserving beneficiaries under National Food Security Act, popularly known as Public Distribution Scheme , a TOI report stated.
Around 4.7 crore ghost/duplicate ration cards benefitting nearly 17 crore “undeserving” persons across states have been deleted so far and they have been replaced with the persons who deserve to get free and highly subsidised ration since 2013, the food ministry said.
A senior official said the law empowers the states to identify the beneficiaries and also to have their own exclusion criteria. “In the past two to two and a half years, states have become active in the right targeting of beneficiaries. We had asked states why they were not cleaning up their beneficiary data when others were doing so. Some states have linked the exclusion to the municipal tax and a certain amount of electricity bill paid by households. In some states, those who pay house tax,” said Union food secretary Sudhanshu Pandey.
Another official said the process to weed out ghost or fake ration cards is not aimed at reducing the overall number of beneficiaries, but to ensure that the deserving persons are not left out.
TOI found that in Meghalaya any urban household having accommodation of four or more pucca rooms, four-wheeler and air-conditioners are not entitled to be covered under the NFSA. Similarly, in Himachal Pradesh, any government employee, pensioner and even employee on contract with any PSU are excluded from the list of beneficiaries.


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