Chandigarh, November 29
To widen the base of ration card beneficiaries in Punjab, the Food and Civil Supplies Department is adding social factors like single mother, persons afflicted with HIV, cancer and other similar problems for eligibility.
Currently, the economic criteria is adopted to identify beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act.
Sharing the information on the floor of the House during question hour of the two-day winter session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Lal Chand Kataruchak said at present, there were 1.57 crore beneficiaries in the state.
All income tax, professional tax and service taxpayers, households having over 2.5 acres of fertile land or over five acres of barren land, households owning motorised four-wheeler or air conditioner, households owning/operating an enterprise registered with the government, households having an annual family income of over Rs 60,000 from all sources and households owing a house built on a plot area of 100 sq yard or more or a flat of 750 sq ft or more super area within the limits of municipal corporations or municipal councils in the state were not eligible for the ration card, the minister said. He was replying to a question by Abohar MLA Sandeep Jakhar, who had pointed out that ineligible beneficiaries were drawing the benefits whereas the ration card of genuine persons had been cancelled. He said officials of the department, instead of doing a field survey, cancelled the cards while sitting in their office. The decision was politically motivated. The minister admitted that certain ration cards had been wrongly cancelled. Jakhar pointed out the case of an AAP worker from Abohar, who “despite being ineligible, had been issued a ration card”.
1.57 cr beneficiaries
Currently, the economic criteria is adopted to identify beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act. There are 1.57 crore beneficiaries in the state
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