Biometric system for PDS not mandatory, says Minister

Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies Dinesh Gundu Rao on Sunday said that the direct benefit transfer of subsidy scheme for kerosene will be launched in Mysore and Tumkur districts next month.

Speaking to presspersons here, he said that a uniform price (Rs. 16.20 a litre) for kerosene had been introduced in the State.

Technical glitches

The Minister admitted that beneficiaries had been facing problems in availing themselves of rice and other benefits at fair price shops due to technical glitches in biometric machines.

“Therefore, the biometric system will not be made mandatory under the PDS system,” he added.

Mr. Gundu Rao said that foodgrains such as rice were stored in warehouses before the 30th of the previous month and they were sent to fair price shops between the 1st and 10th of the subsequent month for distribution among beneficiaries.

A decision on increasing commission to those running fair price shops would be taken in the next Cabinet meeting, he said.

The Minister said that the Anna Bhagya scheme is being successfully implemented in the State. In some places, action had been taken for overpricing, he said.

Mr. Gundu Rao said that jowar would be distributed in north Karnataka and ragi in south Karnataka under the scheme.

About 30 lakh applications had been received by the department for below poverty line cards.

The deputy commissioners had been told to verify the applications and finalise the list of eligible beneficiaries. In about two months, the process would be completed, and the BPL cards would be distributed, he said.

The Minister said that sugar is being distributed to beneficiaries and it will be purchased directly from government-run factories.

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