Cabinet has already approved an electronic system to follow the Biometric Smart Card which will monitor recipients of all social grants, case by case.
If Minister of the People and Social Development Christine Newallo-Hosein gets a second term in government, this system will be put in place soon after.
Newallo-Hosein made the statement on Thursday when asked to elaborate on the decommissioning of 4,000 people from the food card (Targeted Conditional Cash Transfer Programme) programme because of fraudulent activities.
The minister said names were simply taken off the system as soon as they could not be verified.
"The permanent secretary has to do an audit and we can't give details as yet," she said.
Asked if the food card and other social grants had actually alleviated poverty, the minister said they could not tell as yet either.
She said the new electronic system would be able tell, as recipients of all the grants would be monitored on a case by case basis.
"We will be able to gauge where you were at when you came into the programme and where you are at the present," she said.
The minister said while the Biometric Smart Card would be permanent, there were other grants which were given to help people start businesses, for instance, which were temporary.
She said while it might be too early to tell, based on feedback she recieved, people were excited about the Biometric Smart Card.
"They are saying it will make collecting the grants easier for them."
Recipients of the food card did not wish to be identified. Others did not even want to admit they had food cards.
One woman, who said many others shared her views, said the card had helped reduce her food bill.
"I get $410 a month which is almost half of my grocery bill. I buy basic items with it and then put the rest of the money to get all my food supplies."
She seemed more cautious than relieved, however, about the new card.
"I normally go to the post office to get a disability grant for my son. I will no longer have to do it since the money will be coming on the card," she said.
"It would be safer too and reduce the chances of being robbed when I get the money."
However, she was a little uncomfortable about having her fingerprint on the card and had questions about whether she still qualified since she was no longer a single parent.
About the food card
In the 2008 budget statement, former prime minister Patrick Manning announced that "a Food Debit Card has been introduced to help our needy citizens cope with the world-wide phenomenon of high food prices".
Manning said the arrangement would provide a grant of $300, $400 or $500 for relevant vulnerable families of three, four or five and over people.
The Targeted Conditional Cash Transfer Programme was launched in 2006 and over 32,000 people benefited, he said.
In 2006, the then ministry of social development launched the Smart Card initiative which was later renamed TT Debit Card.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, opposition leader at the time, in her budget response in October 2006 in Parliament, said the proposed cash transfer through a Smart Card, was expected to target about 60,000 families.
"The Smart Card will allow for the purchase of food on a defined list of items of $300 for families of three or fewer persons; $400 for families of four to five persons and $500 for families with six or more persons."
Problems existed long before
Several efforts to contact former minister, Dr Glen Ramadharsingh, were not successful.
However, according to media reports, in 2011 Ramadharsingh called for an audit exercise into the food card programme.
He said then the ministry was aware there were people on the programme who did not deserve to be there.
"Persons who are driving luxury cars have food cards and this cannot be. We're going to bring in people who really need it and take out those who don't," he said.
Ramadharsingh said he was shocked to discover that under the former PNM government, "wealthy people" had access to the food card which is supposed to help the most vulnerable people in society to purchase food.
"When we began to clean up the programme, it was the supermarket dealers who were able to identify many people who we put under an internal review process and we were able to weed out almost 3,000 persons from the programme," he said.
He said many supermarket dealers were troubled that some people who were wealthy were carrying cards and they reported it to the ministry.