In an effort to remove the fraudulent beneficiaries and check the pilferage of grains in the public distribution system, the Maharashtra government will link ration cards with Aadhaar data. To encourage the enrollment of Aadhaar for those below the poverty line, the government has offered an incentive of Rs. 100 per enrolment. Enabling entire user data accessible online to the entire department the government has launched a solution to gather more information on beneficiaries.
The department has released Rs 82.22 lakh for the printing of forms for getting information such as bank account number, IFSC code of the bank and Aadhaar number. After collating the data, the department is planning to replace the existing ration cards with smart cards, inscribed with full information about the utilisation of the rationing quota, the member of the family who obtained the stock, and so on.
Maharashtra has 7.01 crore recipient under the Food Security Programme. However, a large chunk of ration cards, mostly misused by rationing dealers during distribution causes loss of crores of rupees to the state coffers. The department is of the opinion that this initiative will help it plug the leakage in the system.
According to the statement made by an official of the department, the scheme has been launched on a pilot project basis in three villages, where, the biometric mechanism is tracing the consumption behaviour of recipients. He further added that number of fraudulent beneficiaries has been reduced to as lows as 25% in Maharashtra due to various measures taken by the government to check the stealing of grains.