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Badal’s Atta Dal scheme under scanner

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Brining previous Parkash Singh Badal government's subsidised foodgrain scheme under scanner, Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday ordered re-verification of the 1.39 crore list of Blue Card beneficiaries of the Atta-Dal (wheat flour and pulses).

About seven lakh beneficiaries were added to the scheme in the last six to seven months of Badal government's tenure. Besides this, an estimated two to three per cent of the total 1.39 crore beneficiaries are reported to be undeserving and included in the list only due to their political affiliations with the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bhartiya Janta Party (SAD-BJP).

A decision to this effect was taken at a review meeting of the Department of Food & Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, chaired by the Chief Minister. Captain Amarinder directed the department to check the list to weed out the undeserving beneficiaries.

He also directed to link the scheme with Aadhar card and add families of farmers, who had committed suicide and landless labourers in the scheme.

The meeting also decided that no photographs of politicians would be put on the new smart cards to be issued to the beneficiaries.

The CM asked the department to define a clear and transparent system of creating and distributing the card to ensure that only genuine beneficiaries get access to its benefits, according to an official spokesperson.

Under the Atta-Dal scheme, Punjab government had initially promised to provide 30 kilogram (kg) wheat flour at Rs One and Rs 2.5 Kg pulses at Rs.20 per family every month. Later the government decided to supply Wheat only.  Badal government had claimed that 1.42 crore people, 45 percent of the toral population (2.77 crores) of state are beneficieries of the atta-dal scheme for below poverty line (BPL) families who have been issued Blue Cards.