The Kerala Cabinet on Wednesday decided to simplify the procedures for issue of ration cards and other certificates.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told the media after the weekly Cabinet meeting that the decision was taken on the basis of issues identified during his mass contact programme. Norms for granting assistance from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund would be changed. New criteria would be drawn up for issue of (above the poverty line) APL and (below the poverty line) BPL ration cards and change of BPL/APL status of ration cards.
The Chief Minister said the government proposed to streamline the issue of birth and death certificates, disability certificate, and nativity certificate. Rules would be changed so that people with permanent disabilities need get the certificate only once. Now, they were required to get fresh certificates every year.
Backlog to be cleared
Mr. Chandy said that steps were under way to clear the backlog in the appointments of the physically challenged to posts reserved for them in government service. Already, 1,039 posts had been reported to the Public Service Commission for selection. The balance, for the 2007-2011 period, would be reported within six months. Steps would be taken to fill reserved vacancies in public sector units. Besides, the Public Works Department would take steps to design government buildings with the needs of the physically challenged also in view.
Minister for Social Welfare M.K. Muneer would draw up a scheme for providing motorised three-wheelers to all physically challenged persons to improve their mobility. More than 100 persons each had approached him for assistance in different districts for assistance to buy three-wheelers during his mass contact programme.
He said the delay in filing applications for benefits under the National Family Benefit Scheme would be condoned. The benefit was available to the widows of persons who died before 60 years of age. The assistance had recently been enhanced to Rs.20,000 by the Central government following a representation by the State government.
He said that many people were facing problems from failure to get house numbers on account of violations of building rules. However, such persons would be granted a certificate of permanent residency which would enable them to get electricity and water connections, ration card, and voter identity card.
The Cabinet entrusted Revenue Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan with drawing up a proposal for streamlining transfer of registry on property transactions. A subcommittee with the Ministers of Finance, Revenue, Panchayats, Urban Affairs, Electricity, and Forest had been constituted to draw up proposals for redressing complaints over fair value of land. The committee would submit its report in a month.
The compensation announced for crop loss during summer showers in Kuttanad would be extended to farmers with insurance cover.
Urdu novelist Saliha Hassan would be sanctioned Rs.2,000 a month as assistance. A sum of Rs.10 lakh would be granted to the organising committee of the C. Achutha Menon birth centenary celebrations, as requested by the late CPI State secretary C.K. Chandrappan.