Jharkhand has ordered a probe into a case of alleged cheating in ration cards.
Food and Supply Minister Kamlesh Singh ordered the investigation after 700,000 ration cards were reportedly issued "illegally" by his department.
According to a census report if 2001, there were 4.42 million families in Jharkhand but over 5.15 million ration cards were distributed, said an official of the department.
"When the payment file was moved, the officials raised objections and marked it to the minister, who ordered a probe," the official said.
The ration cards were printed in 2004 at the cost of Rs 2.20 each. This itself translates into a loss of Rs 1.5 million.
"The inquiry has already detected 360,000 forged cards," said the official.
Three categories of cards were issued - red for families living below poverty line, yellow for the poor and green for general category.
The inquiry has also revealed that people in the general category succeeded in getting red cards, which allows the holder to buy more subsidized food. Those with red cards get to buy rice and wheat for Rs 2 a kg. Some families got more than two ration cards.