Representational Image: Mathrubhumi
Kannur: A cess on ration cardholders is likely to be introduced in the state for generating a certain amount of income in the welfare fund scheme of the ration dealers. A cess of Rs 12 will be collected from a cardholder annually at a rate of Rs 1 per month. Annapurna Yojna (AY) cardholders will be exempted from the cess. Almost 90 lakh cardholders are estimated to be there in Kerala.
No decisions have been taken over how long the cess could be collected. Though a government order has not yet been released, a high-level meeting was held to discuss the matter. Following this, the civil supplies commissioner handed over a report to the Minister of Food and Civil Supplies. The scheme will be launched after obtaining the approval from the Chief Minister.
Currently, 14,000 members are in the Kerala ration dealers welfare fund scheme which was formed 22 years ago. The traders pay Rs 200 monthly in the scheme. The demand to collect cess from cardholders came up in view of the considerably low savings of the dealers under the welfare scheme.