During a tour of his constituency the Minister for Food, Civil Supplies & consumer Affairs & Transport, Technical Education,& Vocational & Industrial Training, was made aware of the clandestine operations by some extortionists demanding money for issuing of the new Smart Ration Cards in lieu of the old Ration cards. In response to this he declared that these are being made available free of cost by the State government and that no charges, what so ever, are to be paid to any person or official for the issue of these cards. One only needs to surrender his/her old card and procure the new Smart Ration card in lieu of that. He has issued strict warning to such extortionists and instructed all the departmental officials concerned to take a serious view of this and take strict action against the perpetrators. He has hinted at taking such perpetrators to court if need arises. This was brought to the notice of the Hon’ble minister by some Mahila Morcha activists of his constituency as a hearsay, to which he responded by saying that any such news should not be heeded to and that it should also be brought to the notice of the concerned department. All these are just rumors being spread by rumor mongers.