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    PDS dealers, fake card holders cheat government

     Around two lakh tonnes of subsidised rice meant for the poorest of poor are being diverted to open market every month under the state's flagship programme, Rs 1 per kg rice scheme. The theft continues as diverted grains are being drawn against the cards issued to people who either don't exist or are ineligible for the entitlement. Around 25 percent of white ration cards have been issued to the Above Poverty Line (APL) families. Such families buy rice at Rs1 per kg and sell it back to dealer at around Rs 10 for a kg. Sometimes they don't buy commodities like oil, sugar, wheat and kerosene etc, and instead, take money directly from the dealers. Another 25 percent of the white ration cards are fake which are being made by the dealers of the Fair Price Shop (FPS), said a top official from Civil Supplies Department (CSD). The state government spends Rs 3,000 crore a year on the heavily subsidised rice scheme to ensure food security to the poor. A total of 3. 94 lakh tonnes rice per month is supplied to the FPS for its distribution to the Below Poverty Line (BPL) families. The grains, bought from the APL families or procured through fake cards, are sold by the FPS dealers into open market, said a senior official at the Civil Supplies Department. Besides rice supplied at Rs 1 per kg, other subsidised commodities are: Red gram dal at Rs 50 per kg, palm oil at Rs 40 per litre, kerosene (Rs 15 per litre), sugar (Rs 13. 50 per kg), wheat (Rs 7 per kg). While grains entitlement of a section of the population under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) has been extended to 35 kg per family, a BPL family is supplied 20 kg of the grains. The director of civil supplies T Chiranjeevulu agrees, "Tonnes of rice and other commodities under Rs 1 per kg rice scheme is being diverted to various private market every month across the state.”