In a move towards the effective, transparent distribution of food grains and giving freedom to eligible beneficiaries to get ration from any depot holder in the state, Member of Parliament (MP) Chaudhary Santokh Singh on Saturday started state government’s ambitious pro-poor digital initiative `Smart Ration Card Scheme’ by handing over smart cards to the beneficiaries in a launching ceremony organized at district administrative complex. Accompanied by MLAs Pargat Singh, Rajinder Beri, Deputy Commissioner Ghanshyam Thori, Mayor Jagdish Raj Raja, MP initiated the distribution of smart cards to the ten beneficiaries symbolically.The scheme was simultaneously launched by MLAs Sushil Kumar Rinku, Avtar Singh Junior Bawa Henry, Surinder Singh and Hardev Singh Ladi Sherowalia in their respective constituencies including Jalandhar West, Jalandhar North, Kartarpur and Shahkot respectively. Lauding the efforts of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh led state government in empowering beneficiaries digitally; MP said that this scheme would set a new milestone in the public distribution system of food grains in the state.He said that now people are free to receive food grains from any government fair price shop (Ration Depot) of their own choice without worrying about transferring their Ration Cards to the concerned Depot.Pointing out further, the MP said that the new system would weed out fraud or pilferage in food distribution completely as the entire system is based on end to end computerization system.
He said that a total of 2, 48,205 families would get these smart ration cards having a chip embedded into them with complete details of identification data of the beneficiary. He said that the beneficiaries get food grains twice in a year under the scheme and single member of each family get 30-kg-wheat (5kg per month).Chaudhary said the smart ration card-holder beneficiaries need not carry identification proofs like Aadhaar to the fair price shop to collect their share of foodgrains from any of 917 ration depots of the district.MP further added that the scheme aimed at enhancing transparency and accountability in the public distribution system besides doing away with the proxy distribution as under the smart ration card regime only a real beneficiary could get ration from the depot.Elated over the launching of the scheme, one of the beneficiaries Preeti of Dakoha said that now her family would be able to receive food grains from any ration depot in the district and there would be completely clean and clear distribution.Davinder Kaur, another beneficiary said that the smart ration card scheme has empowered them as none of the depot holders would be able to get any kind of pilferage.Meanwhile, the smart ration card scheme was also begun in Adampur, Nakodar and Phillaur by Former Minister and Punjab State Board of Technical Education and Industrial Training Mohinder Singh Kay Pee, Senior Congress Leaders Jagbir Singh Brar and Vikramjeet Singh Chaudhary respectively.On the occasion, ADC (G) Jasbir Singh, DFSC Narinder Singh, DFSO Ashok Kumar, Congress leaders Sukhwinder Singh Lalli, Youth Congress Leaders Angad Dutta, Honey Joshi and others were present.