GUWAHATI, April 2 - Over 2.66 lakh ration cards issued under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) in Assam have been cancelled so far as part of the effort to weed out bogus beneficiaries.
This was disclosed by Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Rihon Daimary in the Legislative Assembly today.
Meanwhile, over 2.42 lakh genuine beneficiaries have been added in place of those whose names have been deleted from the list after verification and scrutiny.
The NFSA was implemented in the State in December 2015 and a total of 2.5 crore beneficiaries have been selected based on the Census 2011 data. The Act covers over 84 per cent of the population in the rural areas of the State and over 60 per cent in the urban areas.
Daimary admitted that some lapses in selection of beneficiaries have been detected from time to time and action has been taken to rectify them. As per the Act, beneficiaries are selected after vetting up verification committees and scrutiny committees.
He said that the people, who are from higher income groups and yet have found their names included in the list of beneficiaries, have been requested to surrender their ration cards.
�Officials are also tasked to undertake scrutiny of the lists from time to time to ensure that they are free of any error. There is regular inspection, and review at block, subdivisional and district levels,� Daimary said.
The minister added that 11 persons have so far been arrested in the State for being allegedly involved in pilferage or other unlawful activities under the NFSA and licences of 31 establishments have been cancelled.
Earlier, raising the issue under Rule 301, BJP MLA Narayan Deka said that names of many poor and BPL families have been left out from the list of beneficiaries under the Act, while many affluent people have managed to illegally include their own names.
He called upon the State government to set up a special vigilance committee to expose such acts and also to punish staff and officials responsible for such omissions.