Hyderabad: With no income limit and with people ignoring the little publicised eligibility criteria, the Telangana government is being flooded with lakhs of applications for Telangana Food Security Cards.
The government has received 71.62 lakh applications so far and it expects to touch 80 lakh before the deadline. At present, there are 80 lakh BPL (Below Poverty Line) or white cards in the state.
Since the government did not specify an annual income, did not publicise the other eligibility criteria and with officers given discretionary powers to select beneficiaries, there is utter confusion. Not to take chances, most households have thus put in their applications and more are expected in the next two days.
Meanwhile, the Opposition Congress, Telugu Desam, BJP and Left parties are having a field day as the government falters.
In tune with the National Food Security Act 2013 guidelines, the Telangana government, for the first time, has dropped the annual income norm, which it felt was difficult to assess and went by exclusions and inclusions criteria, or indirect income assessment.
Though the government has given a long list of ineligibility criteria, this was not publicised properly and as a result people rushed to apply and faced needless hardship.
“We expect 90 per cent of households to apply for the ration cards. Going by the applications, many seem to have overlooked the eligibility criteria or are just trying their luck to get the ration cards even if they are ineligible.
There will be multiple scrutiny of the applications before cards are issued,” a senior civil supplies official told this newspaper.
He added, “We will ensure that no eligible household/beneficiaries are excluded and no ineligible household/beneficiaries are included.”
The official justified the fresh applications saying that it was only to ensure that eligible persons got the cards. “We will cross check with the Inte-nsive Household Survey data and Aadhaar cards.
Some incidents are unfortunate, but every eligible person will get the card,” he asserted.
Finance minister Et-ela Rajender too stated that government would ensure ration cards for every eligible household and there was no need to panic or worry about denial of cards....