The Maharashtra government has decided to issue Aadhar-linked ration cards, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said here Tuesday. The Rs.174 crore two-phase initiative aims to curb fake beneficiaries and bring transparency in the public distribution system.
“The state cabinet has taken a revolutionary decision to provide Aadhar-linked ration cards and connect all public distribution system (PDS) outlets across the state with a mobile terminal technology-enabled biometric network,” Fadnavis said in a statement.
Maharashtra will be among three states, including Punjab and Gujarat where the centre-initiated scheme of Aadhar-linked ration cards is being implemented to strictly monitor the benefits under the National Food Security Act, 2013.
In the past there were complaints about fake or duplicate ration cards as well as malpractices by the PDS outlets (ration shops) by which ineligible people were getting the benefits of various government welfare schemes, the chief minister said.
Accordingly, all the 2.32 crore ration card holders will get new ration cards bearing the Aadhar card, bank account and mobile numbers in a bar code, photograph of the seniormost woman in the household and the Aadhar details of other family members, in the first phase.
In the second phase, all the 52,232 PDS outlets will be equipped with a mobile terminal technology-enabled biometric network to recognize each customer’s details before distributing the foodgrains.
The first phase will cost around Rs.70 crore while the second phase will cost around Rs.104 crore. With the new systems in place, the government would get exact details of the genuine ration card holders who are entitled to benefits under various government schemes and weed out the fake beneficiaries. (IANS)