8% grain stock unused after linking ration card with Aadhaar in Maharashtra
The government has managed to weed out repeated, ineligible beneficiaries from the public distribution system (PDS) by making it mandatory to link one’s Aadhaar number with the ration card.
Release of food grains after verification through e-point of selling machines (e-POS) has also helped prevent wrongful sales. This has resulted in Maharashtra using only 92% of the food grain stock released by the Centre. The Central government released 3.83 metric tonnes of rice and wheat to be distributed to 7 lakh people in Maharashtra per month under the National Food Security scheme. The state has about 6.5 lakh beneficiaries from poor families registered through 1.48 crore ration cards.
Since the state has fewer beneficiaries, the stock released by the Centre is not fully utilised. Food and civil supplies minister Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar has now announced plans to launch a drive to reach out to people to enrol 33 lakh more beneficiaries to the PDS. The annual income limit to opt the rations is Rs 44,000 in rural areas and Rs 59,000 in urban areas. “Linking of the Aadhaar number has brought transparency and people do not dare fake their income like they used to do earlier,” said a civic official.