Allaying fears of the ration card holders,the Tamil Nadu Government today clarified that there was no time limit to link Aadhaar number with ration cards.
The clarification from the Food department has come amid reports that November one would be the last date after which essentials would not be given at fair price shops to those card holders who had failed to link Aadhaar number with ration cards.
Sources in the Food department said ”it is mandatory to link ration cards with Aadhaar number. However, there is no time limit for this”.
”Since Aadhaar number is necessary for issuing smart cards, people have to register”, the source said.
Officials reasoned that linking Aadhaar number with ration card details would go a long way in curbing irregularities in the public distribution system and pilferage of commodities.
The process to shift to smart cards in place of the existingration cards from next year, might be delayed due to this.
Anticipating the introduction of smart cards, Point of Sales (PoS) devices have been provided at PDS shops.
Ration card-holder information, including Aadhaar card details, mobile phone number and the number of LPG cylinders, have to be updated with the PoS devices.
Till recently. 2.02 crore ration cards have been registered and of them, only 4.52 crore members have linked their Aadhaar details and 1 58 crore members have provided their mobile phone numbers.
PDS officials explained that people misunderstand that it was enough if the Aadhaar details of the head of the family alone was linked to the ration card. Actually, the system requires the information of all the members contained in the ration card.
”Every member who is mentioned in the ration card has to provide his/her Aadhaar information to the government”,officials said.
The PDS department has appealed to all the ration cardholders to register the relevant information as soon as possible in order to help them hasten the process of issuing the smart cards.UNI GV CS