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Issuing Smart I-card to opium growers useless: Patidar

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DQW Bureau
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Minister of State for General Administration and Legislative Affairs, Ghanshyam Patidar, terming the Central Narcotics Bureau's idea of issuing 'Smart Identity Card' to the opium growers as 'illogical' and 'useless' said that it would cost about Rs 1.5 crore to the opium growers of the State. Patidar said that as per the guidelines issued by the Bureau, about 50,000 farmers of the State would have to get the identity card compulsorily.

In a press release, the minister said that the Bureau has suddenly started issuing 'Smart Identity Cards' to all the opium growers of the State this year.

Under the scheme, an opium grower would be issued a computerized card containing all the relevant information farmer's name, address, allotted area for cultivation and other relevant details. The cultivator has to provide the photograph for the Smart Card.

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The Narcotics Department is charging Rs 100 per card and the farmer has to spend another Rs 35 for the photograph. It has also been made mandatory for the farmer to be present at the license distribution center in person to get the card. The traveling and boarding would cost another Rs 150 for the farmer from the far-flung areas. Thus, a farmer has to spend Rs 350 for the card.

The minister further said that there was no logic in issuing the card as all the information that the card would supposedly hold was already recorded in the license issued to the farmer. Also, the department has all the records and information of the licensee. As such, the card would be good only for a year, as there is no guarantee that the license would be valid for the next year.

Patidar said that when the farmers were getting the license for Rs 25 that too at home and there was no logic in unnecessarily burdening them with the card. The minister said that he smelt corruption in the whole process, as a good quality I-card could be prepared at Rs 30-35 only and with all the relevant information being available with the department it could have prepared the card and sent it to the farmers by mail. Patidar requested the Union Finance Minister to intervene and stop the process immediately.

Meanwhile, Neemuch Municipality Chairperson, Raghuraj Choradia, ex-MLA Dr Sampat Swarup Jaju and Radhe Shyam Goyal, VP, District Congress has also criticized the initiative in separate statements.

(CNS)

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