Maharashtra Govt issues important GR related to mis-use of Ration card
The Govt of Mah. has issued a GR on 16th Jan 2012 stating ration cards can no longer be used during this election as identity card nor ration card will be used as resident proof any longer(in ration card this has already being mentioned).Ration card to be used only to get ration from ration shop(FPS).
Justice Wadhwa which has already recommended in its report to Mah.State on functions of Public distribution system(PDS) that ‘ration card’ should not be used for any other purpose except for drawing ration commodities. It should be de-linked from all other schemes connected with BPL identification done for this purpose. It should not be used be used as proof of residence or as an identity proof for any other purpose. This should be strictly implemented.
The Wadhwa Committee was informed about the large number of Bogus cards. In Jalna some drive for weeding out bogus card was done. In Aurangabad 70% of BPL cards were stated to be bogus and in Parbhani Activists informed that they found1638 bogus cards. Bogus/ ghost card is a big menace in the PDS which needs to be tackled effectively to ensure food security for the needy and to stop large scale diversion in PDS. The Committee during the visit to the State observed that number of bogus / ghost cards in the State are in abundance. The Committee is of the view that an Amnesty Scheme may be adopted for giving sufficient time to the public for surrendering the unauthorized ration cards on their own clarifying that any disclosure / surrender during the Amnesty Scheme period will not entail any punishment / penalty. However, if any bogus / unauthorized ration card is found in the possession of anybody after the Amnesty period, strict action as per Essential Commodities Act will be taken not only against the unauthorized ration card holders but also against the concerned officers of the Department found involved. Steps should also be taken to scrutinize ration cards issued to all the government officials and ensure that none possess Saffron APL. Strict penalty must be imposed on such officials who do not surrender their Saffron APL.
The Jus.Wadhwa Committee has found that one of the reasons affecting the viability of FPS is the unequal distribution of the ration cards. The exercise of rationalization of ration cards attached to each FPS should be undertaken at the earliest to bring about uniformity in the distribution of ration cards to respective Fair price shops (FPSs).
Distribution of foodgrain to the beneficiaries was found to be in a dismal condition, particularly in the Marathwada region. Most beneficiaries did not possess rations cards. At one village about 150 ration cards were found at the FPS. There were several villages where none of the beneficiaries possessed rations cards. In the Vidarbh region, though the situation was better in terms of distribution to beneficiaries, but there were glaring discrepancies in the manner in which foodgrain was being allocated and lifted from the godowns.
In many districts the ration cards had been issued more than 10 years ago and are in extremely poor and unusable conditions. This gives the FPS dealer an excuse to avoid making entries in the card. At many places the Committee found that the ration cards of the beneficiaries had been deposited at the Tehsil office for renewal but had not been issued to the beneficiaries for months. The beneficiaries are left without cards for months together and cannot claim their PDS entitlement. The drive to issue fresh ration cards should be accelerated. Issuance of ration cards should be strictly within the prescribed period. In case of delay the applicant be informed delay along with the reason for the delay.
Kindly inform and share this GR widely for Public awareness.
With warm regards
Soheb Lokhandwala firstname.lastname@example.org