Fair price depot-level officers to be appointed to implement it
The Food and Civil Supplies Department will introduce an Aadhaar and Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) number-enabled system for below poverty line (BPL) cards.
It would streamline the process of verification and help weed out bogus cards, Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies Dinesh Gundu Rao told presspersons on Monday.
The Minister was here to attend a video-conference with top-ranking officials of the department, deputy commissioners of districts, chief executive officers of zilla panchayats and district-level food officers.
Fair price depot- level officers (FLOs) would be designated to implement the system. They would be chosen from among grassroots level employees such as village accountants and revenue inspectors.
They would work as FLOs only for a certain time in the year and would get honorarium for their additional services.
Proposal before Cabinet
A proposal had been placed before the Cabinet for appointment of about 20,000 FLOs, the Minister said. The department would maintain a list of BPL card holders like the electoral roll. It would be revised every year through systematic spot inspection by FLOs.
The department had received about 20 lakh applications for BPL cards and five lakh applications for APL cards. It would take at least two years to clear these applications.
Mr. Rao made it clear that the number of beneficiaries under the Anna Bhagya scheme would be increased after the disposal of the applications for BPL cards .
Mr. Rao said the government was set to float national level tenders for procuring 30,000 tonnes of jowar and 20,000 tonnes of ragi for inclusion in the Anna Bhagya scheme.
As an alternative measure, the government would procure these crops directly from farmers too.
In a bid to encourage farmers to grow these crops, the government was considering increasing the minimum support price which was now Rs. 1,500 a tonne, he said.
A decision on the composition of these grains to be given to individual beneficiaries could be taken only after knowing the quantum of grains available for procurement, he said.
Meanwhile the government has asked the authorities to bring kerosene under direct benefit transfer scheme in districts like Tumkur where the Aadhaar compliance was complete.