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Issue ration cards to 36 lakh families, urges MLA

Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: Congress MLA from Gundlupet H.S. Mahadeva Prasad on Thursday demanded that 36 lakh families, photographed by the Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs in 2009 for issuing ration cards either under the above the poverty line or below the poverty line category should immediately be provided the cards.

Speaking to presspersons, he said that coupons were issued after collecting affidavits from families, bypassing the village panchayats, violating the rules. The coupons were issued by the Bharatiya Janata Party Government just before the Lok Sabha elections in 2009 on a temporary basis. Most of the families furnished false information and got ration cards, including BPL cards, and the government was misusing the Rs. 800-crore subsidised PDS scheme.

He said that the Government had collected Rs. 13 crore at the rate of Rs. 45 from each family for taking photographs. But, hitherto only 74 lakh of the 1.1 crore families identified by the Department had been issued the cards and the remaining 36 lakh families were yet to get them.

Apart from this, 18 lakh families had been identified under the Nemmadi programme, but had not been given cards.

He said that the Justice Wadhwa Committee appointed by the Supreme Court to study the food distribution system across the country and R. Balasubramaniam, who conducted an inquiry into irregularities in the PDS system on the orders of the Lokayukta had lauded the system adopted by the Department when he held the portfolio, also recommended cancellation of the coupons. The Wadhwa Committee had even opined that other States also should follow the Karnataka model, he added.

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