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Politics India

Over one crore ration cards cancelled in UP since 2017

Ministry says digitisation has helped weed out duplicate and fake ration cards, but are genuine beneficiaries being deprived of food security?

Sabrangindia 27 Jul 2022

ration card

More than 1.42 crore ration cards have been cancelled in the state of Uttar Pradesh since 2017. According to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, these were either fake or duplicate cards that were discovered during the digitisation process.

An unstarred question was raised by Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament Sushil Kumar Modi about the cancellation of ration cards. In response to this Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, who is the Minister of State for Rural Development and Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution submitted state-wise data of cards cancelled since 2017.

The Minister submitted, “Digitization of ration cards data is a part of the technology driven PDS reforms. Due to this digitization and because of de-duplication, identification of ineligible/ duplicate/ ghost/ fake ration cards, permanent migration, deaths, etc. the States/UTs from time-to-time have reported the cancellation of about 2.41 Crore such bogus ration cards during the period 2017 to 2021 so far.”

It is noteworthy that out of the 2.41 crore cards cancelled over the last five years, 1.42 crores were from just one state – Uttar Pradesh. Out of the total number of cards cancelled between 2017 and 2021 in UP, at least 44 lakh cards were cancelled in 2017 alone.

It is noteworthy that in April this year, a Government Order asked “ineligible” people in UP to turn in their ration cards, or face FIRs. SabrangIndia had reported that how ration cards have now become a new method of inclusion and exclusion with respect to food security, after the UP government issued “guidelines” to declare people “ineligible”. The government guidelines specify that the residents are ineligible to hold a ration card if one of the members of the family pays income tax, more than one member holds an arms license, or if a member has an annual income of more than Rs 3 lakh in urban areas and Rs 2 lakh in rural areas, or he /she owns a house, flat or a commercial space of more than 100 square feet area. Families who own a four-wheeler/tractor/harvester/ air-conditioner or generator set at home are considered ineligible to hold ration cards as well, the guideline says.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra trails UP as a distant second, with over 21 lakh cards cancelled over five years, of which 12 lakhs were cancelled in 2018. Madhya Pradesh with over 19 lakh cards cancelled over five years comes in third, with 14 lakhs were cancelled in 2021 alone!

Other states that reported a huge number of cancellations include Rajasthan (8.6 lakhs), Bihar (7.1 lakhs), Karnataka (5.8 lakhs) and Jharkhand (5.6 lakhs).

According to the Ministry, “The eligible National Food Security Act (NFSA) households i.e. the households covered under Priority Households (PHH) and Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) are entitled to receive foodgrains (rice, wheat or coarse grains or any combination thereof) under TPDS @ Rs 3/-, 2/- & Re 1/- per kg respectively.”

However, the ministry did not offer any response to the enquiry about the estimate of the amount saved by Government owing to the cancellation of ration cards.

The entire answer may be read here: 

It is noteworthy that India’s food security policy has thus far been unable to provide rations to some of the most marginalised and vulnerable sections of society, especially migrant labourers. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand are three of the largest feeder states i.e people migrate from these states to other states for work. But as all their documents are registered in their home state address, they are unable to avail benefits under food security schemes.

In fact, just last week, on July 21, the Supreme Court heard the application seeking compliance with its judgment regarding problems and miseries of migrant labourers, and directed the Central and State governments to ensure that migrant workers are mandatorily provided ration. A Bench comprising Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna reportedly expressed disappointment while taking note of the fact that there were several states that are yet to reach the 50% mark when it came to registration of migrant workers.

Justice Nagarathna reportedly remarked, “Ultimately in India no citizen should die of hunger. But that is happening. Citizens are dying of hunger. In villages they tie their stomach tightly with cloth; they drink water and sleep. They tie it tightly so that they can kill hunger."

India’s declining food security

India ranks 71 among 113 countries in the Global Food Security Index with a score of 57.2. The GFS Index is released by Economist Impact and Corteva Agriscience. The Index is measured on four metrics, Affordability, Availability, Quality &Safety, and Natural resources & Resilience.

Compared to few of its neighbouring countries, India has a better overall score. Pakistan is ranked at 75th position, Sri Lanka at 77th, Nepal at 79th and Bangladesh at 84th position. However larger countries like China (34) and Russia (23) hold a much better position than India.

Related:

Issuing Ration Cards on the basis of 2011 Census might be injustice: SC to Union Gov't

“Ineligible” people told to return ration cards in UP

India ranks 71 in Global Food Security Index

 

Over one crore ration cards cancelled in UP since 2017

Ministry says digitisation has helped weed out duplicate and fake ration cards, but are genuine beneficiaries being deprived of food security?

ration card

More than 1.42 crore ration cards have been cancelled in the state of Uttar Pradesh since 2017. According to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, these were either fake or duplicate cards that were discovered during the digitisation process.

An unstarred question was raised by Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament Sushil Kumar Modi about the cancellation of ration cards. In response to this Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, who is the Minister of State for Rural Development and Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution submitted state-wise data of cards cancelled since 2017.

The Minister submitted, “Digitization of ration cards data is a part of the technology driven PDS reforms. Due to this digitization and because of de-duplication, identification of ineligible/ duplicate/ ghost/ fake ration cards, permanent migration, deaths, etc. the States/UTs from time-to-time have reported the cancellation of about 2.41 Crore such bogus ration cards during the period 2017 to 2021 so far.”

It is noteworthy that out of the 2.41 crore cards cancelled over the last five years, 1.42 crores were from just one state – Uttar Pradesh. Out of the total number of cards cancelled between 2017 and 2021 in UP, at least 44 lakh cards were cancelled in 2017 alone.

It is noteworthy that in April this year, a Government Order asked “ineligible” people in UP to turn in their ration cards, or face FIRs. SabrangIndia had reported that how ration cards have now become a new method of inclusion and exclusion with respect to food security, after the UP government issued “guidelines” to declare people “ineligible”. The government guidelines specify that the residents are ineligible to hold a ration card if one of the members of the family pays income tax, more than one member holds an arms license, or if a member has an annual income of more than Rs 3 lakh in urban areas and Rs 2 lakh in rural areas, or he /she owns a house, flat or a commercial space of more than 100 square feet area. Families who own a four-wheeler/tractor/harvester/ air-conditioner or generator set at home are considered ineligible to hold ration cards as well, the guideline says.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra trails UP as a distant second, with over 21 lakh cards cancelled over five years, of which 12 lakhs were cancelled in 2018. Madhya Pradesh with over 19 lakh cards cancelled over five years comes in third, with 14 lakhs were cancelled in 2021 alone!

Other states that reported a huge number of cancellations include Rajasthan (8.6 lakhs), Bihar (7.1 lakhs), Karnataka (5.8 lakhs) and Jharkhand (5.6 lakhs).

According to the Ministry, “The eligible National Food Security Act (NFSA) households i.e. the households covered under Priority Households (PHH) and Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) are entitled to receive foodgrains (rice, wheat or coarse grains or any combination thereof) under TPDS @ Rs 3/-, 2/- & Re 1/- per kg respectively.”

However, the ministry did not offer any response to the enquiry about the estimate of the amount saved by Government owing to the cancellation of ration cards.

The entire answer may be read here: 

It is noteworthy that India’s food security policy has thus far been unable to provide rations to some of the most marginalised and vulnerable sections of society, especially migrant labourers. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand are three of the largest feeder states i.e people migrate from these states to other states for work. But as all their documents are registered in their home state address, they are unable to avail benefits under food security schemes.

In fact, just last week, on July 21, the Supreme Court heard the application seeking compliance with its judgment regarding problems and miseries of migrant labourers, and directed the Central and State governments to ensure that migrant workers are mandatorily provided ration. A Bench comprising Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna reportedly expressed disappointment while taking note of the fact that there were several states that are yet to reach the 50% mark when it came to registration of migrant workers.

Justice Nagarathna reportedly remarked, “Ultimately in India no citizen should die of hunger. But that is happening. Citizens are dying of hunger. In villages they tie their stomach tightly with cloth; they drink water and sleep. They tie it tightly so that they can kill hunger."

India’s declining food security

India ranks 71 among 113 countries in the Global Food Security Index with a score of 57.2. The GFS Index is released by Economist Impact and Corteva Agriscience. The Index is measured on four metrics, Affordability, Availability, Quality &Safety, and Natural resources & Resilience.

Compared to few of its neighbouring countries, India has a better overall score. Pakistan is ranked at 75th position, Sri Lanka at 77th, Nepal at 79th and Bangladesh at 84th position. However larger countries like China (34) and Russia (23) hold a much better position than India.

Related:

Issuing Ration Cards on the basis of 2011 Census might be injustice: SC to Union Gov't

“Ineligible” people told to return ration cards in UP

India ranks 71 in Global Food Security Index

 

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