Chandigarh: In a shocking revelation, over 24, 000 cases of ration being procured in the name of dead people have come to light in Punjab during a probe conducted by the Food and Supplies Department from September 2022 till now.
The department has so far examined 40,68,887 ration cards. During this period, 3,37,562 ration cards were found invalid. Of these, 1,79,837 ration cards have been canceled, officials said.
The highest number of 46,450 illegal ration cards have been found from Ludhiana district, the constituency of former Food Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan.
At present, only 96.02% of ration cards have been verified in the state. Investigation of 3.98% continues. Smart ration card holders are given 5-5 kg of wheat per person every month at the rate of Rs 2 per kg (under the Atta-Dal scheme), which was made free during the Corona period.
Ineligible people also got their names included by falsifying documents . The government wrote to the district food and supplies controller for investigation, after which the DFSC got the cardholders of all the districts examined.
“The major irregularities in making ration cards are being found. The Food and Supplies Department examined 40, 68, 887 ration cards. The commission found 3.45 lakh cards. Of these, 1.63 lakh have been cancelled. The names of 24,000 dead have also been removed. Previous governments ignored this scam to benefit their aides for the sake of vote bank,” said Lalchand Kataruchak, Minister of Food Supplies.