press trust of india
New Delhi, 26 July
With assembly elections just four months away, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has fine tuned her administrative machinery to ensure effective implementation of food security scheme which is expected to help Congress retain power in Delhi for the fourth consecutive term.
Mrs Dikshit today said the nitty gritty for implementation of the scheme, which will be launched here on 20 August, the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, has been finalised and the government is now focusing fine tuning the food grain distribution mechanism. Sources said UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi is likely to launch the scheme in Delhi, which will be the first state to roll it out. Officials said the chief minister is personally monitoring the preparation for roll out of the scheme, termed by many in the Congress as a “game changer” programme ahead of the Lok Sabha polls next year. “I am confident of an effective implementation of the scheme in Delhi. Delhi will be the first state to roll out the scheme. We are fine tuning the administrative machinery for roll out of the scheme,” Mrs Dikshit said during a Press conference along with her Cabinet colleagues.
She said initially 32 lakh people from vulnerable sections including BPL families, beneficiaries of Antyodaya Anna Yojana and those having jhuggi ration cards and resettlement colonies ration cards would be covered under the scheme. “We will ultimately cover 73.5 lakh people, which will be 44 per cent of total population, under the food security scheme. Through implementation of the scheme, we will make Delhi a hunger-free state,” she said.
“Geographically, socially and occupationally vulnerable groups, such as residents of slum, resettlement colonies and rural villages, homeless people, transgenders, single women, children living without protection, rag-pickers, un-skilled construction workers, porters, casual daily wage workers, cycle-rickshaw pullers, un-skilled workers in small household would be eligible to get benefits under the scheme,” she said.
Mrs Dikshit said the government would continue with the Annashree Yojna and its beneficiaries, who are getting a monthly cash subsidy of Rs 600, will have the option of shifting to the food security programme.
Under the food security scheme, three-fourth population of the country will have the right to get 5 kg foodgrains every month at highly subsidised rates of Rs 1 to 3 per kg. The per kg price of rice will be Rs 3 while wheat and coarse cereals will be given at Rs 2 and Rs 1 per kg, respectively, under the programme. However, about 2.43 crore of the poorest of the poor families covered under AAY scheme under PDS would continue to get 35 kg of foodgrains per family per month but with legal entitlement.