Karnataka Minister of State for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Dinesh Gundurao informed the Assembly on Thursday steps would be taken to issue ration cards to new applicants in three months.
In a reply to a question of S Suresh Kumar (BJP), he said his department has received 18,40,756 new applications as on July 23 and ration cards were issued to 19,415 of them.
Gundurao said it would not be possible for the staff of his department alone to conduct door-to-door survey to verify if the applications are genuine, adding, it would enlist the services of local government officials, including village accountants, to undertake the exercise.
"We will try to issue the ration-cards in three months", the Minister added. According to officials, most of the more than 18 lakh applications were from the BPL (below poverty line) category and from rural areas.
He said applicants have to pay only Rs 50 for scanning and uploading one application online at photo biometric centres in internet outlets across the State. The department has taken action against outlets who charged more than Rs 50.