2.5 Lakh Ineligible Ration Card Holders Surrender, Pay Rs 6 Cr Penalty: Food Secy

**Bhubaneswar:** Following the strict directives issued by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik recently for stringent actions against ineligible beneficiaries of ration card under the National Food for Security Act (NFSA), Odisha Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi on Tuesday held a video conferencing with all the District Collectors.

The District Collectors have been instructed to initiate legal steps against the bogus card holders by filing FIRs and arresting them forthwith so that it would be exemplary for others.

The District Collectors have also been instructed to initiate departmental proceedings against the government officials who have committed the crime of enrolling such ineligible beneficiaries.

Briefing media after the video conference, Food Secretary Pradipta Mahapatra said approximately 2.5 lakh ineligible beneficiaries have till date surrendered their ration cards and around Rs 6 crore of penalty has been collected from them at market rates towards the rations they had consumed at subsidized rates misusing the cards.

He further informed that the District Collectors have also been asked to submit a certificate in this regard by July 31.

The video conferencing was also held for making Aadhar enrollment cent percent in the state.

Briefing media State IT Secretary P.K. Jena said out of the 4.40 crore population of the state, 3.37 crore Aadhar cards have already been generated for which the State Government after being entrusted with the job by the Centre has decided to make the enrollment hundred percent by November-December this year.

He added that permanent Aadhar enrollment centres will also be opened in future at the blocks and municipalities for the enrollment of new-born.