Hyderabad: Out of the 3.5 crore people in the state, 2.75 crore are below the poverty line according to statistics available with the civil supplies department.
Officials have been gathering data from RTA, municipalities, electricity departments to detect whether beneficiaries own four-wheelers, pay more than Rs 1,000 as property tax a year or power bills exceed Rs 1,000 per month.
The BPL cards of families that exceed the limit will be cancelled. Opposition parties raised a strong objection to the government cancelling food security cards based on this data.
“The government is providing loans for the poor to buy cars, who run taxis for their livelihood. Is it fair to cancel their ration cards just because they own a car,” asked BJP LP leader G. Kishan Reddy.
“Many poor people in slums own houses on 50 sq. yard plots. They build additional floors to accommodate their children after they get married. They pay property tax promptly. Houses having three to four families get a power bill of over Rs 1,000 per month. Why should they be punished for paying taxes and bills promptly,” Mr Reddy asked.
He demanded printing the picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the food security cards along with those of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao as the Centre’s subsidy was more than that of the state.
Mr Rajendar dismissed the Opposition’s claims that cards were being cancelled based on data obtained from these departments. “We are sending teams to such households and inquiring into all the details on the spot. If it is found that their income is within the prescribed limits, we are not cancelling the cards,” he said.