Probe ordered into bogus card scam

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New Delhi, July 8 (UNI) The Delhi Government today ordered a probe into the bogus ration card scam in the state.

Addressing a press conference here, Delhi Food and Civil Supplies Minister Haroon Yousuf said the Government has ordered an impartial probe, to be headed by the Commissioner (Food and Civil Supplies), to look into entire gambit of issue of bogus ration cards in Delhi.

Expressing the commitment of the state government to eliminate all bogus cards in the Capital city, Mr Yousuf said those found guilty would be brought to book and strict action taken against them as per existing legal provisions.

The Minister said with computerization of its entire database of ration cards, the state Government has been able to eliminate large number of multiple ration cards.

In all, 1,70,598 cards were detected as bogus cards out of which 11,256 were in AAY category, 17,364 in BPL category and 1,41,978 were in APL category.

Mr Yusuf said the city-government has been taking all measures against reported irregularities in its PDS.

''It has computerized all its existing 70 circles and the staff is providing usual courtesy and affectionate attitude to the visitors. Apart from this, the cardholders who visit respective circle offices to get their changes effected, are requested to fill up response sheets which have reflected confidence of the common man in the functioning of the Food and Supplies Department,''the Minister said.

He said the Government would continue to intensify its efforts to provide a fool-proof database of ration cards to ensure delivery of essential food items under its PDS.

''It is also committed to expose the nexus of food and supplies officials, fair price owners, another PDS mafia with whose collusion these bogus cards had been made and operated over the years,''he said.

''The Government will not spare anybody and will launch criminal prosecution against those found involved,''Mr Yousuf added.

The Minister categorically stated that the city-government would spare no stone unturned to ensure delivery of foodgrains under its Public Distribution System (PDS) to the targeted beneficiaries to provide them equitable relief, keeping in view, their basic family requirements.

Mr Yousuf said the city-government under the able leadership of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has also taken all possible precautionary measures to revamp its entire PDS with an aim to ensure that the food items meant for APL card holders with higher incomes who do not draw ration from Fair Price Shops were not diverted and blackmarketed.

''This initiative of the city-government is historic and path-breaking, which has helped the Department of Food and Supplies to improve the functioning of PDS, improve service delivery to the citizens, curb inflation in the prices of essential commodities.

Recently, the Delhi Government had filtered out 10 lac APL cards thereby reducing the total number of APL cards from 25 lakh to 15 lakh by keeping a sealing of Rs 1 lakh per annum per household as the eligibility criteria for draw of PDS items,''he said.

Mr Yusuf said the Department of Food and civil Supplies has taken strict measures against hoarders by conducting raids and lodging of FIRs. It is also on the record that 3 lakh quintals of rice and 2,80,000 litres edible oil were seized to curb rising prices.

''The massive action was singular in its importance as no other state government has taken such a strong action against hoarders and blackmarketeers. Apart from this massive raids were conducted on various godowns reported to have illegally stored foodgrains meant for PDS. As a result, 71,00 quintals of foodgrains were recovered.

It has also not spared LPG dealers and taken all possible measures to curb misuse of LPG for commercial purposes,''he said.

UNI AR MIR KN1925

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