Card holders can get the Smart cards at their respective PDS outlets after getting an SMS from the authorities.
Ration cards in Tamil Nadu are all set to go fully digital with Chief Minister K Palaniswami launching a smart family card scheme to replace 1.89 crore cards in the state at a cost of Rs 330 crore. “Completion of distribution of smart cards has been planned to be done by May across the State,” Palaniswami said after distributing the new cards to beneficiaries at a function here marking the launch of the scheme. Consumers can continue to buy commodities at PDS outlets by using their existing ration cards till such time they received the smart cards, he said.
Card holders can get the Smart cards at their respective PDS outlets after getting an SMS from the authorities, he said, adding a new database has been created by getting the Aadhaar card details of ration card holders.
“Of the 6.90 crore members in ration cards, Aadhar details of about 5.85 crore persons have been collated.”
Based on the Aadhar information, the Smart Cards have been produced and are being distributed and the expenditure for it will be borne by the State government, he said. Smart card scheme, which has become a reality with the computerisation of the Public Distribution System has several benefits, he pointed out.
Fake cards and duplication of names of members could be averted and distribution of PDS commodities to the deserving will be ensured besides bogus billing, he said. Also, allocation of commodities to PDS outlets and real-time monitoring of movement of essential commodities from warehouses to outlets will be done.
Applications seeking new cards, addition or deletion of members and change of address can be done online, he added.
Noting that distribution of commodities is being done through Point of Sale devices in ration shops since September last, he said the plan to fully computerise the PDS was launched in 2015 and the Smart card scheme was announced by former Chief Minister late Jayalalithaa in 2012.
Praising Jayalalithaa for ensuring food security by announcing free rice scheme since 2011, he said even in States which produced surplus food, rice is being distributed only for a price. He said Rs 5,500 crore is being allocated annually for the Food department as a subsidy.