K. Damodar Aithal, Convener of Udupi Consumers’ Forum on Wednesday said that the State government should simplify the rules on issuing both below poverty line (BPL) and above the poverty line (APL) cards.
He was speaking at an interaction programme organised by the Forum, here.
Mr. Aithal said that people were burdened unnecessarily due to frequent changes in government rules and regulations regarding ration cards.
The problem of identifying below the poverty line (BPL) and above the poverty line (APL) beneficiaries in rural areas could be solved by calling ward meetings in Gram Panchayats, where the beneficiaries could be easily identified.
Such meeting could be held once in two years to add and delete names in the ration cards, he said.
A.P. Kodancha, retired bank official, said that the process of getting either a BPL or APL card required the beneficiaries to shell out between Rs. 100 to Rs. 120.
Besides, the beneficiaries had to wait for long time to get the cards and frequently visit either the Taluk Office or the franchise kiosks.
There were nearly 2.46 lakh households in Udupi distict. Of them, 1.24 lakh households had been regarded as BPL.
Nearly 26,500 cards had got cancelled due to mistakes made by franchise holders for filling data for APL and BPL cards in the district, he said.
K.P. Madhusudhan, Deputy Director, Food and Civil Supplies Department, said that the government wanted the welfare measures to reach the real beneficiaries.
It wanted to create a strong and reliable database of beneficiaries.
Hence, it had started issuing BPL and APL ration cards.
While APL ration cardholders might not get any benefit at present, they might require it in future if the Government decided to provide any foodgrains to the APL cardholders.
It was also needed if anyone wanted to get a passport, he said.