As part of a State-wide exercise to identify misuse of single-member smart ration cards, the district administration has launched an exercise to scrutinise such cards.

According to officials, the main idea is to reduce the burden of giving free rice to these cardholders by weeding out ineligible beneficiaries. Though the National Food Security Act stipulates only five kilogram of rice per person, the Tamil Nadu government provides a minimum of 12 kg of rice to eligible cardholders even if the card holder is the only member in the family.

“However, there is scope for misuse. For instance, in a number of cases, that single members will actually be living with their children. The children, after getting married, would have obtained separate smart ration cards,” an official said.

“In such cases, if the person is added to one of their children’s card, it will just increase the rice allocation to the card by just another five kilograms. The government thus saves seven kilograms of rice,” he added.

A senior official from the District Supply Office said that there were around 86,000 single-member smart ration cards in the district, which is roughly 10% of the 8.83 lakh family cards in the district (as per

Officials said that the verification process is being done with the involvement of Revenue Inspectors and other officials, who are expected to do door-to-door verification of all the single-member family cards.

“If we find any person with single-member card to be residing with his or her family, we will cancel their card and instead ask them to get included in the card held by their family members,” an official said. In case of any objection, a representation can be made to the District Supply Officer, he said.

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