Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur today said the state government has decided to cover 1.50 lakh, additional families of the state, under Food Security Act and they would be provided with food items at subsidized rates.
He said the state government will identify ‘priority households’ with revised annual income limit of Rs 45000.
The CM said currently 6,78,338 families of the state are covered under the National Food Security Act with a total population of 27,84,717 whereas the target of National Food Security Act for the state is 36,81,586.
Thakur said that as a result of the government decision, now these families can avail wheat flour at Rs 3.30 and rice at Rs 2 per kilogram. He said that on this, there would be an additional expenditure of Rs 10 crore per year.
He said that it has also been decided that now consumers would be able to purchase any three pulses per month among Dal Urad, Dal Chana, Dal Malka and Moong at subsidized rates.
Thakur said that in order to provide essential food items at a fair price to the people, the state government allocated Rs. 225 crore under the state subsidy scheme for the current financial year.
“The whole world is struggling with corona pandemic and economic activities have been affected badly. The most affected are the weaker sections of society. In view of this several decisions have been taken in the state cabinet meeting held recently to provide fair price ration to the weaker sections of the society through fair price shops,” he said.
He said that on recommendations of the cabinet Sub-Committee constituted for ‘Post COVID-19’ economic revival, the cabinet decided to exclude about 1,50,000 income tax-payers of the state for one year from receiving the benefit of subsidy under the target public distribution scheme.
The CM said that the objective of this decision is to benefit the weaker sections of the society as much as possible. He said that as soon as economic activities would come on track, the government could reconsider this decision after one year.
The Chief Minister said that the government has also decided that until now the APL (Above Poverty Line) families were given subsidy up to Rs 30 per kg on pulses, which has now been reduced to Rs 20 per kg.
Thakur said that similarly, the government has also decided to reduce the subsidy of edible oil provided to APL families from Rs 10 per litre to Rs 5 per litre. He said that likewise subsidy on sugar for APL families has also been reduced by only Rs 6 per kg.
The Chief Minister hoped that the privileged section of the society would support these decisions taken by the government in this period of the corona pandemic, so that maximum number of poor people could be provided food at reasonable prices.
He said that the decision of the state government would save about Rs 60-70 crore, which would further be used to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and uplift the weaker sections of the society.