Bogus beneficiaries eat into food security scheme
Is the Right to Food benefiting the wrong people? Put out by recurrent complaints about people illegally taking the benefits of the scheme, the Pune division of the department of food and civil supplies has announced that it will take criminal action against such fraudsters.
Prakash Kadam, assistant commissioner of the department, said that strict measures would be initiated against these people under the Essential Commodities Act.
The National Food Security Act was implemented across the state on February 1, according to which the beneficiaries of Antyodaya Anna Yojana, and others whose annual income is between Rs 25,000 to Rs 1 lakh would be entitled to get the benefits of the programme. However, it was found that many residents of the district, whose annual income is above Rs 1 lakh, were also taking advantage.
Grain of truth: The National Food Security Act was implemented across the state on February 1, according to which the beneficiaries of Antyodaya Anna Yojana, and others whose annual income is between Rs 25,000 to Rs 1 lakh would be entitled to get the benefits of the programme. Representation pic
“It is possible that these persons, with annual income of more than Rs 1 lakh, were earlier taking the benefits of the Antyodaya Anna Yojana. Interestingly, after their income goes up, people generally don’t come to us to delete their names from the list of beneficiaries,” said Kadam. He added that people who become ineligible should get their names deleted, so that the needy can draw benefits from the scheme.
Kadam has also appealed to citizens to inform the administration if they come across any bogus beneficiaries, as the department has no mechanism to trace them.
“We can’t keep tabs on each beneficiary, and it’s also impossible for us to find out whether someone’s annual income has increased or not,” said Kadam. The department is now planning to upload the list of the present beneficiaries in public domain.
Presently 33 fair price ration shops are running in the district for the implementation of the Act. 50 per cent of the foodgrains have already been lifted from Food Corporation of India, and the remaining quantity would be picked up in ten more days.