The Punjab government has started a door-to-door verification of blue-card holders who get subsidised atta-dal under the scheme in Punjab.
All blue-card holders will have to fill a self-declaration form furnishing details of Aadhaar number, voter ID and their income.
Under this ambitious scheme of the SAD-BJP government, the department of food and civil supplies is providing wheat at Rs 1 per kg and pulses at Rs 20 per kg to about 31 lakh blue-card holders in the state. The beneficiaries —including the family of every blue card holder—are over 1.44 crore.
Punjab chief secretary Sarvesh Kaushal said the drive started more than a fortnight ago and will take some time to complete. “To begin with, we are only asking every beneficiary to fill these forms. The information given in the forms will then be cross checked,” he added.
The exercise comes almost at the same time when the state discovered a whopping 36 per cent ineligible beneficiaries of the old age pension scheme. “The first phase of the checking of the pensioners was relatively easier as the registered beneficiaries were tallied with the voter lists,” added Kaushal.
Once the verification process is over, those who are ineligible to get the flour and pulses will be weeded out of the scheme. The exercise is likely to be completed by December 31.
The food and civil supplies department has been receiving a host of complaints regarding anomalies in doling out of food grains to ineligible beneficiaries.
It has been alleged that several beneficiaries who have more than 10 acres of land and are otherwise income taxpayers and own four-wheelers are also getting the subsidised ration. On the other hand, several eligible beneficiaries have been left out of the scheme ambit.
Families with annual income less than Rs 60,000 and owning land less than 2.5 acres and 100-yard plot holders in urban areas are also eligible to new blue cards and can avail the benefits of the new scheme.
An official of the food and supply department on the condition of anonymity admitted that the beneficiaries had been shortlisted wrongly in many cases mainly due to political pressure.
He, however, added that in many cases the lower-rung officials of the department too have been indulging in corruption and issuing blue cards.