The Jharkhand food and public distribution department on Tuesday started a survey to identify fake ration card holders and people not eligible to enjoy benefits of the Food Security Act, an official said on Tuesday.
The department has asked ineligible beneficiaries to withdraw their names from the scheme by December 31 or face legal action, said Ravi Ranjan, special secretary of the food and public distribution department.
“A set of parameters has been introduced to determine the fake beneficiary. People who own refrigerators and washing machines would be considered, ineligible under the scheme,” he said.
“We are requesting such beneficiaries to withdraw their names from the scheme by the given deadline.
“FIRs would be lodged against people who are not eligible and those who fail to withdraw their names by December 31. We have started a survey across the state to identify such people.”
The department has handed over a list of such beneficiaries to each district to detect duplicate ration cards, he said.
The Ranchi administration raided several PDS shops in Itki block on Monday and found several irregularities. “We found several mismatch in food grain allotments and distribution besides detecting people who are not eligible for the scheme,” said Neet Nikhil Surin, block development officer of Itki.
Jharkhand rolled out the ambitious National Food Security Act from October 1, this year, which gave more than 2.33 crore of the total 3.29 crore people in the state to get 5 kg rice and wheat every month at the subsidised rate of Re 1.
Pressured by the state government, the department prepared and digitised ration cards in haste to set the scheme rolling. As a result hundreds of thousands of fake cards were issued without verifying the credentials of beneficiaries enrolled under the scheme.
Hindustan Times, in its November 28 edition, had exposed the large-scale distribution of fake ration cards in the state in a report titled “PDS officials aghast as fake ration cards flood state.” Following the HT report, state food and public distribution minister Saryu Roy had directed to the department to scrap 1.68 lakh duplicate ration cards across the state.noj Kumar Ranchi district supply officer said, “We will disclose the names of those who are for the scheme in the next 10 days, as majority of block officials are engaged in ongoing panchayat elections.”