BPL cards with no e-KYC compliance set to be suspended in Karnataka

People collecting foodgrain at a fair price shop in Mysuru.

People collecting foodgrain at a fair price shop in Mysuru. | Photo Credit: File Photo

Five years after the e-KYC was made mandatory for all BPL card beneficiaries, the State government is set to keep about 22 lakh BPL cards under suspension, as about 35.5 lakh beneficiaries are yet to provide their thumb impression in their respective public distribution shops across the State.

After multiple deadline extensions, the Food and Civil Supplies Department is expected to mark May 31 as the deadline for the beneficiaries to provide their biometrics and complete the e-KYC process. Of the total, 4.75 lakh are Antyodaya beneficiaries and 30.75 lakh are BPL beneficiaries.

In Karnataka, a total of 1.26 crore BPL and Antyodaya cards — covering 4.33 crore beneficiaries — have been distributed. Karnataka receives 2.17 lakh metric tonnes of food grains per month from the Centre for the PDS system.

Increasing compliance

Food and Civil Supplies Minister Umesh Katti said that the BPL card beneficiaries have been given five years to complete the e-KYC, yet they have not completed it. “In the last one year, the percentage of beneficiaries providing e KYC has gone up from 43% to nearly 92%. Why are the rest not coming forward,” he asked.

“The card will be only temporarily suspended for three months. As soon as the beneficiaries complete their e-KYC, the suspension will be revoked. The cards will be cancelled if e-KYC is not completed,” he added.

Sources said that among the 22 lakh BPL cards that have been identified for not completing the e-KYC, none of the family members in the beneficiary card have completed the e-KYC in many instances while in other instances the e-KYC has been partial. Department sources believe that many could have died but their names continue to stay in the card or could be bogus cards.

In about one year, the department has identified 7.59 lakh beneficiaries through the e-Janma portal, who had died but information on their death was not shared with the Government. This resulted in foodgrain continuing to be supplied to these families.

Six districts

Sources also said that another possibility is that many among the 35 lakh beneficiaries could be migrant workers, especially from Kalyana Karnataka region, who have not taken the initiative seriously. While the State figures for completion of e-KYC stands at 91.9%, six districts – Yadgir, Chamarajanagar, Vijayapura, Raichur, Kalaburagi and Gadag – have less than 89% with a majority of 35 lakh coming from these districts.

With the average offtake of foodgrain to be about 92% of the allotted 2.17 lakh metric tonnes, Mr. Katti said that it is also possible that these beneficiaries fall in the category of those not availing the PDS benefits. “But we must confirm that the benefits meant for the poor are reaching the right people,” he said.

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2022 4:03:17 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/bpl-cards-with-no-e-kyc-compliance-set-to-be-suspended/article65426862.ece