Plugging leaks

The Maharashtra government will save nearly Rs.1,000 crore annually with the linking of Aadhaar to ration cards. In the wake of large-scale complaints of bogus ration cards, the then food and civil supplies secretary Deepak Kapoor (now skill development secretary) had initiated a major exercise to detect fake documents.
Under the National Food Security Act, an estimated seven crore people are covered in Maharashtra. These people are eligible to receive wheat and rice at a nominal price of Rs two and Rs three per kg respectively . “It was found that quite a large number of fair price shopkeepers and traders were the main beneficiaries, as they were procuring grains against bogus ration cards,“ a bureaucrat said.
“It was then decided to link Aadhaar cards with ration cards. During verification of ration cards, besides Aadhaar card, the head of the family was told to produce a copy of the bank pass book and his photograph,“ he said. “While we launched the scheme last year, so far only 5.68 crore people have come forward with their Aadhaar and ration cards. Prima facie, it appears that 1.3 crore people do not exist, but ration cards were issued in their names,'' he said.
The bureaucrat said while the Centre is releasing grains worth Rs.13,000 crore per year, now in the wake of detection of bogus ration cards, we will save nearly Rs.1000 crore. “We will save grains, which will be disbursed to the needy ,“ he said. 

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