Plans to give ration shop ownership to them

Following rampant malpractice in the distribution of foodgrains and ration cards in several districts in the State, the government now proposes to give ownership of ration shops to self-help groups.

Malpractices have been reported in issuing of BPL ration cards in Chickballapur, Chamarajanagar, Davangere, Kodagu, Bangalore Urban and other districts. Distribution of fake BPL cards and diversion of foodgrains have been reported from several places, Minister for Food and Civil Supplies D.N. Jeevaraj told presspersons here on Wednesday.

To avoid diversion of foodgrains and ensure distribution of ration items only to eligible beneficiaries, the department has proposed to give ownership of shops to women SHGs. There are 21,129 ration shops in the State and a majority of the shops are owned by men. Irregularities have been reported in shops owned by individuals, he said.

Unlike individual ownership, SHG members could have collective ownership of shops. Further, SHGs have been electing office-bearers regularly and have their own buildings to set up ration shops, the Minister said.

Suspended

Chickballapur taluk food inspector Laxman and Chamarajangar district Deputy Director Mahadevappa have been suspended for dereliction of duty. The deputy director was suspended for the delay in issuing Antyodaya Anna Yojana cards to tribal people in the district.

Licences of three ration shops in Chickballapur taluk have been cancelled following the unearthing of fake ration cards.

Action has been taken against a franchise, which was authorised to print ration cards, the Minister said.

Electronic machines

Mr. Jeevaraj said electronic weighing-cum-point-of-sale (PoS) machines would be installed in ration shops in five districts and it would be launched in Chikmagalur on Makara Sankranthi (January 14). Machines installed in ration shops would usher in transparency in the public distribution system (PDS).

Machines would be installed in Chikmagalur, Mysore, Belgaum, Gulbarga, and Dharwad districts in the first phase.

All temporary card ration holders would be given permanent cards after verification of documents. The department has issued 43,13,250 temporary cards. All deputy directors and gram panchayat development officers have been instructed to expedite the processing of issuing permanent cards, the Minister said.