The Tripura government has cancelled 67,000 fake ration cards involving 2.81 lakh people, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said.
"After the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) government came to power in March 2018, over 67,000 fake ration cards were revoked. These forged ration cards were issued during the previous (Left Front) government," the Chief Minister said on Sunday night while addressing an official function.
Tripura Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister Monoj Kanti Deb said: "After the computerisation of the Public Distribution System (PDS), over 67,000 fake ration cards were identified. Around 2,81,000 people were involved with these bogus ration cards."
The Food Minister told news agency IANS that of the 2,81,000 people, who are involved with the false ration cards, a large number of them might be of Bangladeshi nationals.
"Despite thorough inquiry, there was no trace of majority of 2,81,000 people against whom various commodities were issued through the PDS," the minister said.
He said that the state government had recently started supply of pulses (Masoor Dal) through the PDS at a much discounted rate.
Earlier, rice, flour, sugar, salt and kerosene are being distributed though the PDS at an inexpensive rate.
Tripura Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department's Secretary Debasis Basu said that "With Aadhaar number seeding, the 'End-to-End Computerisation of the Public Distribution System (PDS)' has been completed in Tripura in 2018.
"Tripura is the first state in northeast India to complete the digitalisation of the entire system of the PDS. The Central government has also appreciated the achievement of the Tripura government in completion of the digitalisation," Mr Basu told IANS.
He said that Tripura currently has 9,08,212 ration cards involving 36,86,216 people under 18,010 ration shops across the state.
The official said that under the National Food Security Act, 2013, and Supreme Court's direction, computerisation of the entire PDS process is mandatory.
"As part of the system, all food offices, godowns, fair price shops and related systems have been digitalised by utilising the Common Application Software developed by the National Informatics Centre under the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology," he added.
Mr Basu said: "For maintaining transparency and quick services, the digitalisation of PDS is very useful."
To curb the frauds and scams in the PDS, the Mizoram government has also done the digitalisation of the rationing management under the Centre's "End to End Computerisation of PDS Operation Scheme".
An official of Mizoram's Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department said in Aizawl that, the digitalisation of the PDS had introduced in almost in all the 1,420 fair price shops across the state.
"With new system in place, bogus ration cards, fake number of people and other scams were identified and unearthed," the official said adding that the new system would also ensure transparency in the PDS, reduce wastage and contain unfair disposal of the surpluses.
"With 'Aadhaar' number seeding, the end-to-end computerisation of the PDS would ensure transparency at various levels of the essential supply system."
The "End to End Computerisation of PDS Operation Scheme" is a joint initiative of the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and the National Informatics Centre and is being introduced in all the states and union territories across the country.