The Food and Civil Supplies Department has initiated steps to cancel 16,000 ration cards of government officials who managed to enter the BPL (below the poverty line) list and secure BPL ration cards.

Minister for Food and Civil Supplies Shibu Baby John said in an official release here on Thursday that the government had found that about 24,000 government officials had illegally secured BPL ration cards and steps were being taken to cancel their cards. The government had directed the officials to convert these into APL (above the poverty line) cards by January 15, but only 8,000 officials had complied with the directive and surrendered their cards.

The government had also found that some officials had secured BPL cards in the name of others. Such cards too would be cancelled. Departmental action had been contemplated against such officials. Those occupying top positions in society had been found to be BPL cardholders. Stringent action would be taken against them, the Minister added.