State employees asked to surrender cards immediately

District Collector Biju Prabhakar has warned of stringent action against government employees possessing below poverty line (BPL) cards.

He told a meeting of the District Development Council here on Saturday that such employees would be suspended after specially constituted squads dug up details of how many State employees in the district were using such cards. Ration dealers, who would have to submit affidavits that no government employees were enjoying the benefits of BPL cards from their shops, would also be in the firing line if the affidavits were found to be false, Mr. Prabhakar said.

Several deserving people were being denied the benefits as persons who belonged to the above poverty line (APL) category were drawing benefits using BPL cards, he said.

The Collector called upon the public to inform him or the District Supply Officer of people wrongly possessing BPL cards.

Directing officials to issue circulars asking government employees to surrender their BPL cards, Mr. Prabhakar said action would be initiated against not just government employees, but anyone found to possess a BPL card undeservingly.

There were 26,000 applications for BPL cards currently pending with the district administration, on which a decision would be taken within a month.

Mr. Prabhakar told The Hindu that the government had earlier issued notices on several occasions asking its employees to surrender their BPL cards, if any. However, few had done so. The special squads, led by Taluk Supply Officers, had already been constituted. The squads would be on the job from Monday, he said.