Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh government has saved Rs 948 crore and the Telangana government about Rs 700 crore after weeding out bogus and duplicate ration cards, ahead of the National Food Security Act coming into force from April 1.
The drive to clean up the ration card system started soon after the bifurcation of the state, with Aadhaar as the basis. The TS government asked officials to identify the number of people who have cards both in Hyderabad and in their respective native places in the state. The AP government also started a similar exercise.
In Telangana, 67,22,084 persons and 69,55,312 in AP were weeded out, officials from both states said.
According to some officials, a lot more can be done if the governments are serious to ensure that only genuine beneficiaries can get the subsidies.
Telangana gives 6 kg rice and AP 5 kg per person every month. The ceiling is four persons in AP, but there is no such cap in Telangana.
According to Telangana civil supplies commissioner Parthasarathy, the cards were weeded out by the first week of January, based on Aadhaar seeding.
“We have been issuing cards through the ePDS website two months back. We are trying to ensure that duplication does not take place,” he said.
AP commissioner of civil supplies Raja Sekhar said, “If you just take rice, the savings are around `948 crore of subsidy. Our calculations show nearly 20,909 metric tonnes is being saved every month,” he said.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday expressed happiness over the large-scale weeding out of fake ration cards and said all future subsidy schemes would be linked up to Aadhaar and all subsidies will be given through fresh cards only....