Punjab to re-verify ‘Blue Card’ beneficiaries

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Chandigarh, April 18 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday ordered re-verification of the list of ‘Blue Card’ beneficiaries of the ‘Atta-Dal scheme’ to make it more targeted and comprehensive.

Directing the scheme to be linked with Aadhar card, he said that it should include families of farmers who had committed suicide and also landless labourers.

The decision was taken at a review meeting of the Department of Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, chaired by the Chief Minister here on Tuesday.

“It was decided at the meeting to scale up the scheme by converting the existing Blue Cards to Smart Ration Cards to make them functionally more advanced, and also to rid the existing cards of the political tag attached to them by the erstwhile SAD-BJP government, which had added 7 lakh beneficiaries to the scheme in the last 6-7 months of its tenure,” said a Punjab government spokesman.

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“With an estimated 2-3 per cent of the total 1.39 crore beneficiaries reported to be undeserving and included in the list only due to their political affiliations with the SAD-BJP, the Chief Minister directed the department to check the list to weed out the undeserving beneficiaries.

“Many Congress workers had been denied the right to avail the scheme by the previous government,” the Chief Minister pointed out, directing the officials concerned to sift the existing list and ensure that only deserving beneficiaries get the benefits of the scheme.

The meeting also decided that no photographs of politicians would be put on the new smart cards to be issued to the beneficiaries.

Earlier, the cards carried the photographs of then Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

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The Chief Minister asked the department to define a clear and transparent system of creating and distributing the card to ensure that only genuine beneficiaries get access to its benefits, the spokesman said.

“It was also decided to regularise and streamline the distribution process in view of the fact that since August 2014, dal has been distributed under the scheme quite erratically – only for the months of January-March 2016 and December 2016,” he added.



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