New atta-dal scheme: Re-verification an onerous task for admn

  • Harpreet Kaur, Hindustan Times, Hoshiarpur
  • Updated: Jan 13, 2015 18:25 IST

The re-verification of eligible beneficiaries under the state government's new atta-dal scheme is proving to be an onerous task, with the district administration finding it difficult to complete the task well before the deadline.

Officials were asked to complete the verification by January 12, but the staff asked with the job could not approach all households, it has been learnt.

The district civil supply offices had been directed to upload new lists of eligible beneficiaries on the portal in three days, starting January 13, but this too is expected to get delayed.

Names of many beneficiaries, who were identified in 2013 and who are availing the subsidy, were not uploaded on the portal whereas there are others who were not even issued ration cards despite having been recognised as eligible.

Moreover, certain below poverty line (BPL) families identified in 2007 and covered in the first phase of the new atta dal scheme in December 2013 do not figure in the portal even though their names exist in the sale registration record of the department. The government has asked the district officials to prepare supplementary lists of all such beneficiaries after scrutinizing available record and upload the same on the NADS portal.

"It is easier said than done. Going through the previous record and tallying it with the fresh one is a gigantic task which cannot be completed in a hurried manner or there again will be a risk of enrollment of bogus beneficiaries", said an official of the food and civil supplies department. "The government has neither provided funds nor manpower for the online enrollment. How can we upload lakhs of names in just three days", questioned another. Since there were no clear guidelines from the government on many issues, officials followed different set of norms in different districts, he claimed.

Meanwhile, the verification staff had interesting experience doing the door-to-door exercise. A large number of well-to-do people were found availing the subsidised atta dal scheme. "Many of them own pukka houses and expensive cars but the properties are in someone else's name," said one of the employees.

Sources said during the previous survey in 2009, staff on duty had prepared lists by consulting village sarpanches rather than going door to door as a result of which a large number of ineligible persons had managed to get enrolled under the scheme. They said the ongoing exercise also seemed to end on the same note.

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