Parliamentary committee says no to food credit cards
The Indian government’s proposal to issue food credit cards to the needy at the expense of Rs 3000 crore was shot down by the parliamentary committee
The Indian government’s proposal to introduce food credit cards, aimed at preventing the siphoning off of food grains and the use of bogus ration cards, has been shot down by the parliamentary standing committee on food and civil supplies.
According to the parliamentary committee, the scheme, which will cost the exchequer Rs 3,000 crore, was not a priority when millions of people below the poverty line and those eligible for the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) do not have ration cards.
The committee in its report to the parliament said “The first and foremost responsibility of the government is to issue ration cards to those who deserve but do not possess them.”
The committee, which is headed by former Union Food and Public Distribution Minister Devendra Prasad Yadav, said that the food credit cards may not serve their purpose and could be manipulated by the same forces who manipulate the existing system. The panel said, “even the FCC may be issued in the name of those who do not deserve it”.
The committee said that the government should not change the existing system. They should issue BPL/AAY cards to all eligible people who have not been issued ration cards yet.
Source: The Telegraph,
April 17, 2003