Doctors, CAs, ex-legislators among white ration card-holders!

A cross-verification of database available with the agriculture department to identify beneficiaries of Prime Minister’s Kisan Samman Nidhi (PMKSN) at the ongoing gram sabhas in villages has revealed stunning details.

About 7,000 State government employees, 3,000 pensioners, doctors, advocates, chartered accountants, ex-MPs, MLAs and Ministers were found to be in possession of white ration cards issued to below-poverty-line (BPL) families in the past.

A senior official said that it might not be the intention of such people to lift subsidised ration from fair price shops but just have white cards to utilise government schemes like Aarogyasri and double bedroom housing. A majority of the cards were issued during the tenure of Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy as Chief Minister to enrol for Aarogyasri. Subsequently, they were retained by them for double bedroom housing under TRS rule. The ration cards were also extensively used as ID proof to obtain Aadhaar cards when the document had become popular for delivery of benefits under welfare programmes four years ago. Hence the craving for white cards because they guaranteed all benefits accruing to BPL families. They were taken in disguise, the official added.

As regards PMKSN, the field staff of the agriculture department, holding gram sabha in villages since Friday to cross-check the list of beneficiaries that they have generated in Hyderabad, are surprised to find the names of employees and pensioners in their enquiries. The names were filtered according to the norms of PMKSN and given to field staff.

With Aadhaar number as the common denominator, the names were integrated with ration card holders as enlisted by the Civil Supplies Department in the process of filtration. Separately, the data of employees and pensioners was also gathered from treasury.

The PMKSN envisaged direct benefit transfer (DBT) of ₹6,000 per annum for farmers having less than five acres of land. Land holding employees of Central and State governments other than Class IV are ineligible under the scheme. Similarly, pensioners who are drawing ₹10,000 per month are ineligible.

In the first phase of cross-verification of database up to Monday, the government targeted enquiring 10 lakh names supplied to field staff. They will cover 5,000 villages. The first phase names constitute 50% of beneficiaries who fulfil PMKSN norms.

The verified names will be sent to the Centre online from Tuesday for inclusion in the national pool of DBT when Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the programme at Gorakhpur on February 24. The cross-verification in next phases will continue till the month-end. It will only be in these phases that pink card holders who had less than five acres will be identified. Finally, the land holding of government staff will be established.

Officials expected that less than 5% names may be weeded out in cross-verification on grounds of ineligibility.

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Printable version | May 22, 2022 10:31:54 am |