Rs.21.69 crore to be spent on the project

The State government will spend Rs.21.69 crore this year for introducing biometric ‘smart' family cards on a pilot basis in Pudukottai district, Food Minister R. Kamaraj told the Assembly on Monday.

Replying to a debate on the demands for grants for his department, the Minister said that as there was no fool-proof system to identify dual/multiple registration of one's name in the family cards, introduction of smart cards would solve the problem.

The Director of Census Operations under the National Population Registry was preparing biometric data with 10 fingerprints and irises of citizens to issue unique identification numbers. The data would be used for issuing biometric smart family cards, he said. The expenditure would be around Rs.703.21 crore and the State had sought Central assistance.

The Minister said that of the 1.97 crore family cards that were in circulation, about 1.93 crore were renewed in fair price shops. About 85,000 persons opted for online renewal, of which about 62,000 cards have been renewed and renewal of the rest was under process. In total, 4,16,925 family card holders did not renew their cards.

Paddy procurement

The government had procured 21.10 lakh tonnes of paddy as on March 31, 2012, through 1,621 direct purchase centres during the kharif marketing season 2011-12.

This kharif season, 26 lakh tonnes of paddy procurement had been fixed as the target. This year, dues of farmers selling paddy to the government-run procurement centres would be deposited in their bank accounts.

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