Bangalore: Karnataka government will enact a new legislation to punish bogus ration card holders, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Dinesh Gundurao said on Monday.
"On the instruction of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, we are enacting a legislaton to punish fake ration card holders to implement Anna Bhagya (scheme to provide rice at Re 1 a kg to the poor) without any obstacles," he told reporters here.
No leniency would be shown after the initiation of the process of filing criminal cases against the bogus ration card holders, the minister said.
Gundurao said the government is keen on eliminating the large number of bogus ration card holders, who are affecting the effectiveness and efficiency of the Anna Bhagya scheme.
He said bogus ration card holders were indulging in malpractices and even blackmarketeering of foodgrains supplied by government to help eradicate the hunger among the poorest of the poor belonging to Below Poverty Line families at Re one per kg. Already five lakh fake ration cards have been cancelled, he said.
Moreover, the process of registering Elector`s Photo Identity Card (EPIC) number with the Food and Civil Supplies Department would begin next week, Gundurao said.
The Food and Civil Supplies Department has made it mandatory for all ration cards holders to register their EPIC number with the department.
The Minister said ration cardholders who got their cards before 2010 should also furnish EPIC and Aadhar numbers, failing which their cards would be suspended. New applicants who are yet to receive their cards would also have to furnish their EPIC and Aadhar numbers, Gundurao said.
Cards will be distributed to them only after they furnish the numbers, he said.