The Food and Consumer Protection department of Bihar government has detected 7.77 lakh fake ration cards, distribution of which could have incurred Rs 3.23 cr monthly loss to state government.
The Food and Consumer Protection department suspected these cards being fake after there had been no takers for these cards for months. The fake cards were detected during internal review and inspection of the department.
All district magistrates have been asked to cancel these cards and find out how these cards were made in the first place. It is suspected that local PDS dealers may have been involved in it, with the intention of selling PDS grains and kerosene oil at market rate by availing them with fake cards.
Food and Consumer Protection Minister Shyam Rajak said “east Champaran alone had over one lakh fake cards, followed by 92,478 in Samastipur, 50,575 in Madhubani and 59,472 in Muzaffarpur”. He said the department had taken serious note of it and there would be further scrutiny to identify people behind it.
The distribution of fake cards could have meant that 20 lakh litre kerosene oil and 55,550 quintal wheat and rice could have reached black market every month, said the minister.
The state has 1.35 cr ration card holders. New ration cards were made after Food Security Act came into effect.
Meanwhile, Union minister Ramvilas Paswan and Bihar minister Shyam Rajak traded charges against each other for untimely availability of food grains. While Paswan said the state government had not been lifting grains in time, Rajak said FCI godowns had not been availing grains to them. The Centre-state relationship has only gone bitter with CM Jeetan Ram Manjhi skipping Patna launch of Jan Dhan yojana by Paswan on Thursday.