GUWAHATI: The Aadhaar seeding of ration cards is an effective tool to identify bogus or ghost ration cards issued under the PDS (Public Distribution System) and the NFSA (National Food Security Act), 2013.
According to records in the State Food and Civil Supplies Department, the Aadhaar seeding of ration cards in the State is very poor. The State has 58,94,452 ration cards issued, and the number of beneficiaries is 2,51,17,001. While the total number of Aadhaar seeding against ration card is 10,67,519, the number of Aadhaar seeding against beneficiaries in the State is 15,03,101.
From time to time, the Centre issues notification asking the State governments for Aadhaar seeding against ration cards. However, the Aadhaar seeding of ration cards is very poor in the State.
If the Aadhaar seeding of ration cards is made compulsory, bogus or ghost ration cards in the State can be detected.
An official in the State Food and Civil Supplies Department, however, said, "The Centre does issue notification for Aadhaar seeding of ration cards from time to time, but doesn't issue an order for the cancellation or deletion of ration cards for not complying with Aadhaar seeding."
Recently State Food and Civil Supplies Minister Ranjeet Kumar Dass did appeal to the affluent families holding ration cards in the State to give up their cards own to make the needy ones avail of the benefits. According to the Minister, if the affluent families give up their ration cards, around five lakh needy families of the State can be issued ration cards.
The issue of fake ration cards is not new in Assam. In the past, the Justice PG Agarwala Committee in its inquiry report said that the State had around three lakh bogus or ghost ration cards.