‘Surrender ration cards or face disciplinary action‘: Political pundits analyzed the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections held two months ago that the state government’s free ration scheme has helped the BJP return to power once again. Buoyed by the victory, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had also announced that his government would continue to provide free ration to 15 lakh eligible poor people of the state for the next three months.
But as soon as the month of April comes, the UP government has issued an order that those who are not eligible for this scheme should surrender their ration cards by May 20, else FIR will be lodged against them.
Keep in mind that during the Covid-19 pandemic, ration card holders have been getting free ration twice every month. Once from the Central Government and once from the Uttar Pradesh Government. During this, many complaints also came to the fore that many ineligible people were also getting free ration, but the Uttar Pradesh government kept ignoring it because elections were on the head.
During the election campaign, BJP put forward a separate category of people taking free ration as beneficiaries and made them a vote bank in a way. Now that the elections are over and the BJP has won and regained power, the government has taken the first step towards cutting down on the free ration scheme and is starting with a campaign to reduce the numbers.
According to government rules, if anyone member of a family also pays income tax, or one member of a family has an arms license or the annual income of a family is Rs 3 lakh in cities and Rs 2 lakh in villages, or Having own house, shop, flat or any commercial property of 100 square feet, or any family has four wheeler, tractor, harvester, AC or generator, then such family will not be considered eligible for free ration scheme and they will not be given free ration.
An official said that if such people do not surrender their ration card by May 20, recovery notice will be sent to them and FIR will be registered against them under CrPC. Recovery from such people will be done as per the guidelines of the Free Ration Scheme. The official said that people can submit their ration card at the block office or the district supply office.
All the District Magistrates have also issued orders in this regard. According to officials, a fine of Rs 24 per kg of wheat and Rs 32 per kg of rice will be imposed in the recovery process. And this fine will be applicable from the time the ineligible family or person has started taking free ration.
Actually, there are two types of ration cards in UP. One is Antyodaya Anna Yojana and one is Priority Parivar Card or Priority Household Card. Such families whose income is Rs 3 lakh in cities and Rs 2 lakh in villages are considered eligible for Priority Household Card. People who do not have their own house, do not have any fixed income or skill, and belong to the poorest section of the society, then they are given cards of Antyodaya Anna Yojana.