CM meets Union Minister on food scheme

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit Tuesday called on Union Food Minister K V Thomas to discuss various nitty gritties regarding the food security programme.

New Delhi: Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit Tuesday called on Union Food Minister K V Thomas to discuss various nitty gritties regarding the food security programme which will be rolled out in the city on August 20, the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

After the meeting, Dikshit said a total of 72 lakh people will be covered under the scheme. The total population in Delhi has been estimated at 1.68 crore.

In the first phase, a total of 32 lakh people in 5.10 lakh families will be covered under the scheme. The entitled food grains will be given to the beneficiary families through their senior most female members with an aim to empower the fairer sex.

"We are moving forward to launch the food security programme on August 20. We came to meet Food Minister KV Thomas for some clarifications. A total of 72 lakh families will be covered under the scheme in Delhi," Dikshit said.

Officials said Dikshit sought certain clarifications from Thomas about finalising modalities for selecting beneficiaries of the scheme.

On Saturday, Congress president Sonia Gandhi had asked Congress-ruled states to implement the food security scheme in `letter and spirit`.

Considering the potential of the populist scheme in the assembly elections in the city slated for November, Dikshit last week had announced that Delhi will be the first state in the country to launch the scheme, dubbed by the Congress as `game changer` in the Lok Sabha polls next year.
The CM has already ordered all concerned agencies and departments to complete the ground work for roll out of the scheme and appointed a committee under chairmanship of Food and Supply Minister Harun Yusuf to ovesee the preparations.

The city government would distribute Food Security Cards in formal launch function of the scheme on August 20.

In the first phase, all the BPL families, Above Poverty Line (APL) card holders and Jhughi Ration Card (JRC) holders and beneficiaries under Antodaya Anna Yojna will be included.

The city government has also decided to include homeless people, daily wage earners, rag pickers, people living in resettlement colonies and slum clusters in the first phase implementation of the scheme.

No income tax payers, vehicle and house owners will be included under the scheme in the first phase, officials said adding that the second and final phase of implementation of the scheme will be launched in February next year.
They said the beneficiaries of Annashree Yojna, who are getting a monthly cash subsidy of Rs 600, are likely to be kept out in the first phase.

Under the scheme, three-fourth population of the country will have the right to get 5 kg of foodgrains every month at highly subsidised rates of Rs 1-3 per kg.

Per kg of rice will be supplied at Rs 3 while wheat and wheat and coarse cereals will be given at Rs 2 and Rs 1 per kg respectively under the programme.

However, about 2.43 crore poorest of the poor families covered under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) scheme under PDS would continue to get 35 kg of grains per family per month but with legal entitlement.


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