Punjab Deputy Chief Minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal, has asked deputy commissioners in all the districts to send teams to villages and check the veracity of beneficiaries of the Atta dal scheme. The move comes amid reports that a large number of fraudulent beneficiaries have been found to be listed under the scheme. In a video conference held with the DCs, the Deputy CM ordered that a certificate should be obtained from Gram Panchayats by October 1 about the veracity of beneficiaries of Atta dal scheme and pension schemes by displaying lists of present beneficiaries in the village.
The number of beneficiaries of the scheme will be 1.42crores. The eldest woman in the family will be the head however there will be no upper cap allotment. Under the scheme, every member gets five kg wheat per month and the annual quota of wheat will be given in one go. Giving details about criteria fixed for selection, he said families with annual income less than Rs. 60,000 and land less than 2.5 acres and all 100 yard plot holders in the urban areas would be eligible to new blue cards to avail the benefits of new ‘Atta Dal scheme’.
Pensioners receiving annual pension of less than Rs. 60,000 would also be eligible for blue cards. He clarified that beneficiaries would need to submit a self-attested statement that they are not paying any type of tax to the government.
Wheat will be given at Rs. 1 per kg. The annual entitlement will be given at one go. The distribution will be done at the doorstep of the beneficiary directly by the department. The beneficiary gets to keep the wheat bags filled with grains. What’s important for the beneficiaries is that they’ll have to have an Aadhar card (June onwards). The beneficiary can go to the consumer court if he does not get wheat as per his entitlement. The standard unit set for wheat to be delivered is 30 kg in packing. The department officials, the beneficiary, the transporter, the village panchayat, the nigraan committee – all will have to work in coordination.
Punjab Deputy CM has also directed that these teams should hand-in detailed reports on the status of rural water supply schemes as well as total number of water supply connections issued. In another move, the Deputy CM asked the DCs to promulgate necessary orders under the Section 144 of the CRPC to ban paddy harvesting through combines between 7 pm and 7 am.
The violation of these orders would lead to confiscation of harvester combines for the entire paddy season. It has also been decided in principle to allow farmers to transport paddy from grain markets to godowns on their own tractor trolleys. The Deputy CM had called a meeting to review the paddy procurement process and other social security schemes including Atta dal and pensions schemes. He said the exercise was put in place keeping in view the larger interests of farmers to lift the purchased paddy quickly and ease congestion in the grain markets during the Kharif season.