Delhi Food Minister Imran Hussain has said that names of some ration card holders who left Delhi during the lockdown have been deleted from the list of PDS beneficiaries.
Hussain ordered the food and supplies commissioner on October 28 to restore with “immediate effect” all such deleted names as they were not being able to lift their monthly quota of ration from fair price shops.
A senior food department official, however, disputed the claim, saying no such arbitrary deletions have been made.
“It has been brought to my knowledge that some of the beneficiaries had gone to their home states during the period March 2020 to October 2020 due to the lockdown/extended lockdown because of Covid-19, and on their return to Delhi, they are unable to get their due ration as their names have been struck off.
“It is hereby directed that names of all such beneficiaries which have been struck off from the NFS beneficiaries list for the above reason during lockdown/extended lockdown from March 2020 to October 2020 may be restored with immediate effect herewith,” said the order signed by Hussain.
Under the National Food Security Act, 2013, which governs the PDS, there are 17.54 lakh ration card holders in Delhi. They are divided into three categories — 15.12 lakh priority households (PR), 1.73 lakh priority state households (PRS) and 68,468 Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) families.
A senior food department official said the 17.54 lakh ration cards benefit around 71.9 lakh people. The cap on the number of beneficiaries is fixed at 72.78 lakh in the capital.
“No such deletions have been made owing to beneficiaries leaving Delhi for a few months due to lockdown. Instead, around 10,000 to 15,000 new ration cards are being made on a monthly basis. The minister may have written the letter based on certain inputs but we are not aware of any deletion,” the official claimed.
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