Shimla: To fish out fictitious ration cards for 8 lakh people, who exceed the number that the 2011 population registration records show for the state, the Himachal Pradesh government is banking to fix by introducing Aadhar linked electronic cards.
Speaking to the media here, a little while ago, food and civil supply minister GS Bali acknowledged that the government was facing a tricky situation in identifying the rightful ration card holding families across the state.
“Whereas the state census records just over 68 lakh people residing in Himachal but number of ration cards issued records 76 lakh beneficiaries of food subsidy schemes,” said the minister.
“A Rs 14 crore computerization project awaiting approval with the central government would turn the ration card into Aadhar linked card that would enable us to identify the true claims of all the beneficiaries,” said Bali.
The minister disclosed that the food department had decided to increase the ration quota of BPL families and chief minister Virbhadra Singh who also holds the finance portfolio had agreed to bear the additional burden of about Rs 30 to 35 crore that the scheme would now cost the state exchequer.
Though there has been an increase in food grains prices in the market, the food department did not intend to pass on the additional costs to consumers in the subsidized regime, he added.
The government had marked a budget of Rs 175 crore for food subsidy in the current financial year which had been increased by as much as Rs 62 crore to keep all subsidized food ration schemes operational.
It is worth mentioning that Himachal is providing subsidized rations to all state residents which include poorest of the poor, the below poverty line families and the above poverty line family, which include well of or even high networth families.