HT Image
HT Image

State weeds out 2.81 lakh ‘ghost’ ration cards

Since the introduction of biometric-based authentication, 10.55 lakh beneficiaries have not availed their wheat quota in the last one-and-a-half year v
By Navneet Sharma | Hindustan Times, Chandigarh, Chandigarh
PUBLISHED ON DEC 31, 2019 11:21 PM IST

The Punjab government has suspended 2.81 lakh ration cards of suspected “ghost” beneficiaries who did not avail their wheat quota under the public distribution system (PDS) in the past one-and-a-half year.

These 2,81,566 families, who constitute approximately 8% of the total 35.5 lakh ration card holder households in the state having 10.5 lakh beneficiaries, have not drawn subsidised wheat from any fair price shop in the last three six-monthly – April 2018 to September 2018, October 2018 to March 2019 and April 2019 to September 2019 – distribution cycles under the centrally-sponsored scheme. Their ration cards have been kept in abeyance to prevent leakage.

On an average, around 89% of the beneficiary families have availed their ration in each of these cycles and only those ration cards have been deactivated where the beneficiaries have not turned up to claim their subsidised wheat even once in any of the last three cycles. “These ration cards, which have put in the NER (non-existing ration card) category, have ghost beneficiaries or are duplicate and most of these were made during the previous government. In case any beneficiary that has not taken subsidised foodgrains in last three cycles shows up, their ration cards will be reactivated after a thorough check,” food, civil supplies and consumer affairs minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu said.

Before the biometric-based Aadhaar authentication through 1,570 electronic point of sale (e-PoS) machines was made operational under the “Project for End-to-End Computerisation of Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDs)”, albeit belatedly, in mid-2018, more than 95% beneficiaries were drawing subsidised ration. The weeding out of ghost beneficiaries has resulted in saving of 30,000 tonnes of wheat worth 69 crore in each distribution cycle. “There has not been a single offline transaction in the past three distribution cycles as we have made no provision for it. Punjab is the only state in the country with 100% biometric-authenticated transactions during this period,” said the minister. In addition, the department has also identified another 95,000 ineligible families who were availing subsidised ration during verification and cancelled their ration cards.

Under the scheme, 55% population in the rural and 45% in urban areas, which comes to roughly 1.41 crore beneficiaries, are provided subsidised wheat. The department gives 30 kilogram wheat to each eligible beneficiary of “priority households” identified under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) every six months at a subsided rate of 2 per kg.

As for the “poorest of the poor” families under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana, their entitlement is 35 kg of wheat per household per month. Due to huge subsidy, leakage through a large number of fake beneficiaries and diversion of foodgrains from the PDS was very high in the state.

In a study on “Leakages from PDS and the Way Forward” by the New Delhi-based Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) four years ago, it was found that 46% of the off-taken grain leaked from the PDS till a few years ago. In 15 states, more than 50% off-taken grain did not reflect in the consumption figures. These included Punjab (60.7%), Haryana (70%) and Delhi (82%). The leakage was attributed by various other studies undertaken from time to time to ghost beneficiaries and misuse or duplication of ration cards.

Though the weeding out of bogus cards and ineligible beneficiaries has been made possible by computerisation of PDS database, Aadhaar linkage of beneficiaries and use of e-POS machines, Punjab was among the last states to make the switch. The project for end-to-end computerisation of the PDS from storage to distribution was started in 2012-13, but the state had repeatedly missed deadlines during the previous government.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
 (iStockphoto)
(iStockphoto)

Witerati: Women’s Lib, the new normal style

By Chetna Keer
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 01:43 AM IST
The new normal has perhaps done for women’s liberation what the old normal’s Women’s Lib couldn’t do
Close
RS Dharmakumarsinhji (centre) with Frank and John Craighead. (PHOTO COURTESY: AAPNU BHAVNAGAR)
RS Dharmakumarsinhji (centre) with Frank and John Craighead. (PHOTO COURTESY: AAPNU BHAVNAGAR)

Wildbuzz: The spirit of learning

By Vikram Jit Singh
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 01:25 AM IST
Sarfrazuddin Malik, scion of a family of erstwhile jagirdars from Dasada, Gujarat, nurtured an inborn, insatiable passionfor falconry
Close
The then state sports minister Anil Vij had tweeted on September 14, 2019 that Dev will be first chancellor of the Sports University at Rai. (HT Photo)
The then state sports minister Anil Vij had tweeted on September 14, 2019 that Dev will be first chancellor of the Sports University at Rai. (HT Photo)

Kapil Dev’s appointment as sports university chancellor hits a hurdle

By Hitender Rao, Chandigarh
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 01:09 AM IST
Haryana’s move to appoint 1983 World Cup winning captain and cricket legend Kapil Dev as the first chancellor of the Haryana sports university at Rai in Sonepat has hit a a stumbling block with the state government deciding to withdraw the Sports University of Haryana Bill passed by the assembly in August 2019 following an objection by the Central government
Close
A prospective observational study was conducted in the 22-bed emergency between February and December 2019, and has appeared online in the Indian Paediatrics Journal, ahead of its print edition, in February. (HT FILE PHOTO)
A prospective observational study was conducted in the 22-bed emergency between February and December 2019, and has appeared online in the Indian Paediatrics Journal, ahead of its print edition, in February. (HT FILE PHOTO)

Overcrowding in emergency linked with increased mortality: PGIMER study

By Amanjeet Singh Salyal, Chandigarh
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 12:35 AM IST
The data correlated significant overcrowding in the emergency, as indicated by a high number of non-urgent visits, higher bed occupancy rate, and prolonged stay
Close
The active case ratio has seen an exponential rise in the last three weeks to reach 3% of the total cases after falling to 1% in mid-February. (HT File Photo)
The active case ratio has seen an exponential rise in the last three weeks to reach 3% of the total cases after falling to 1% in mid-February. (HT File Photo)

Chandigarh’s daily Covid count crosses 100 after 3 months

By Amanjeet Singh Salyal, Chandigarh
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 12:31 AM IST
Amid the surge, the Centre has told the local authorities to increase the proportion of RT-PCR tests, expand the vaccination drive and take samples from the community to check for mutations in the virus
Close
PU is yet to take a call on reopening the varsity for students. Students have submitted a memorandum stating that online teaching is ineffective. (HT FILE PHOTO)
PU is yet to take a call on reopening the varsity for students. Students have submitted a memorandum stating that online teaching is ineffective. (HT FILE PHOTO)

Reopen hostels for more PhD scholars: Panjab University panel

By Dar Ovais, Chandigarh
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 12:28 AM IST
The varsity has already allowed research scholars enrolled before lockdown to avail hostel accommodation on campus
Close
The Union health ministry noted that Punjab along with four other states accounted for 82 per cent of the new Covid-19 cases reported in India.(HT Photo)
The Union health ministry noted that Punjab along with four other states accounted for 82 per cent of the new Covid-19 cases reported in India.(HT Photo)

Punjab reports over 1,000 daily new Covid-19 cases for second time in March

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Srivatsan K C, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 09:38 PM IST
The bulletin showed that the active caseload too witnessed a spike on Saturday with 7,164 patients—up from 6,661 reported on Friday.
Close
Police recording the statement of mother of the slain children at civil hospital in Ludhiana on Saturday. (Photo by Gurpreet Singh/Hindustan Times) (Gurpreet Singh/HT)
Police recording the statement of mother of the slain children at civil hospital in Ludhiana on Saturday. (Photo by Gurpreet Singh/Hindustan Times) (Gurpreet Singh/HT)

Migrant worker kills two sons of his neighbour in Ludhiana, hangs self

PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 07:22 PM IST
The accused, identified as Shailendra Kumar of Bihar, was allegedly trying to allure the mother of the children to have a relationship with him
Close
A traffic policeman ensuring a youngster masks up as the district administrations have directed strict compliance of the Covid-19 safety protocol. (HT Photo)
A traffic policeman ensuring a youngster masks up as the district administrations have directed strict compliance of the Covid-19 safety protocol. (HT Photo)

Night curfew in Jalandhar, SBS Nagar, Kapurthala, Hoshiarpur to check Covid-19 spread

By Gagandeep Jassowal
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 06:48 PM IST
Curfew imposed in four districts of Punjab’s NRI belt of Doaba from 11pm to 5am; relaxation for night shift factory workers, medical emergency cases and traffic on highways
Close
Citing the high positivity rate in Ludhiana and Jalandhar, Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh directed the health department to step up surveillance and testing in these districts to contain further spread of the pandemic.(Bharat Bhushan/HT file photo)
Citing the high positivity rate in Ludhiana and Jalandhar, Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh directed the health department to step up surveillance and testing in these districts to contain further spread of the pandemic.(Bharat Bhushan/HT file photo)

Punjab’s Jalandhar, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar impose night curfew

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kanishka Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 05:36 PM IST
As Punjab is witnessing a fresh spike, the central government has sent a high-level team to the state to assist the state health department in Covid-19 surveillance, control and containment measures.
Close
Announcing a <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>9,405-crore outlay for development works, Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jai Ram Thakur said that the state planning department will be known as Niti Vibhag. (HT Photo)
Announcing a 9,405-crore outlay for development works, Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jai Ram Thakur said that the state planning department will be known as Niti Vibhag. (HT Photo)

Thakur presents Himachal budget, aims to revive Covid-hit economy

PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 01:20 PM IST
According to estimates, the state’s economy will register a negative growth of -6.2% in 2021-22, which is 1.5% better than the national average
Close
Police carrying out probe in the forest area from where the victim’s body was recovered on Saturday morning. (Ravi Kumar/HT)
Police carrying out probe in the forest area from where the victim’s body was recovered on Saturday morning. (Ravi Kumar/HT)

Six-year-old missing girl found dead in Chandigarh

By HT Correspondent, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 12:34 AM IST
Twelve-year-old neighbour apprehended; he is suspected to have sexually assaulted her before bludgeoning her to death
Close
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama being given the first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine at Zonal Hospital, Dharamshala, on Saturday morning. (HT Photo)
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama being given the first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine at Zonal Hospital, Dharamshala, on Saturday morning. (HT Photo)

Dalai Lama turns down offer to get vaccine jab at home, goes to dispensary

By Naresh K Thakur, Hindustan Times, Dharamshala
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 04:22 PM IST
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama stepped out of his home after a year on Saturday to get first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine
Close
Amarinder announces enforcement directorate to check illegal mining
Amarinder announces enforcement directorate to check illegal mining

Amarinder announces enforcement directorate to check illegal mining

PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 12:57 AM IST
Chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday announced the constitution of an enforcement directorate, mining, under the command of a senior police officer with adequate police force at his command to take action against illegal mining
Close
Green initiative: Abohar MC to ban plastic-bottled beverages
Green initiative: Abohar MC to ban plastic-bottled beverages

Green initiative: Abohar MC to ban plastic-bottled beverages

By Vishal Joshi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 12:54 AM IST
Abohar became Punjab’s first local body that framed a bylaw in October last year to charge compensation for segregation and disposal of plastic waste
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP