Assembly Committee raises concern over ration & BPL card coverage

Shillong, Oct 9: The Meghalaya Assembly Committee on Women Empowerment today urged the Food and Civil Supplies Department to fast track processing pending ration card applications.

Committee Chairperson Dr. Ampareen Lyngdoh said that they were informed by the Department that there were 57,083 pending applications still unattended since 2016.

She said that 77.79% rural families and 50.87% urban families have been covered under the NFSA and Non-NFSA schemes.

Committee member, Mayralborn Syiem also mentioned that the Government of India has given time till December 31, of this year for NFSA cardholders to link their accounts to Aadhaar, which is a cause for concern since only 32% of the population has registered themselves with UIDAI.

The Committee Chairperson also pointed out that the low coverage of BPL cards in the state was worrying since only high-risk contacts and BPL families will be able to avail free COVID testing facilities from the government.

“If 50 percent of a red zone like Shillong is not covered under the scheme, we will be in a very tight spot because individuals won’t be able to pay for tests,” Ampareen said.

She also added that since the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is the only person who is able to certify BPL in Urban Agglomerations, it might lead to delay in COVID testing and availing of free-of-cost treatment.