Mangaluru, (The Hindu): The exemption from biometric reading has been extended from 2% to 4% of ration card holders in the ration shops facing Internet connectivity issues, said Minister for Food and Civil Supplies, Minority and Wakf B.Z. Zameer Ahmed Khan here on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters after laying the foundation for ‘Maapaka Bhavan’ of the Department of Legal Metrology, Mr. Khan said the decision to extend the exemption limit was taken in the light of complaints from card-holders about difficulty in getting rations from the shops because of problems in uploading their biometric readings.
Mr. Khan said those exempted would cover senior citizens, physically challenged, and those whose biometric readings cannot be possible owing to Internet connectivity issues.
The Minister said the department was in talks with BSNL and private telecom companies to resolve the connectivity issues. He said the use of biometric readings for issue of ration had helped the department prevent instances of fraudulent issuance. The department has saved Rs 585 crore since the adoption of biometric system.
Mr. Khan said the government had removed the stipulation asking an applicant for below poverty line card to produce his or her personal income certificate. The applicant can now submit income certificate of his or her head of the family.
Following representation by Mangaluru City South MLA D. Vedavyas Kamath for release of Rs 5 crore for improvement of roads and storm-water drains at Faizal Nagar, Bengre, and other areas in his constituency where minorities lived, Mr. Khan said he would first release Rs 3 crore in the next few day from minority welfare fund. The remaining amount would be released shortly, he added.
The Minister earlier laid the foundation for the Rs. 1.9 crore two-storey Maapaka Bhavan, which will house offices of the Assistant Controller of Legal Metrology and the Inspector of Legal Metrology. The Karnataka Housing Board has been asked to construct the building by March 2019.
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