New Delhi: Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Friday said the Centre has not accepted the suggestion of few states to increase beneficiaries under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) saying that the number is fixed for every state.
Currently, there are 2.42 crore beneficiaries under AAY category. They are entitled for 35 kg of foodgrains under the Public Distribution System (PDS) at highly subsidised rates of Rs 2/kg for wheat and Rs 3/kg for rice.
"Requests have been received from a few state governments to increase this number, but it could not be acceded to, as the number is fixed for every state," Paswan said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
The state governments and Union Territories have been advised from time to time to review the existing list of AAY beneficiaries and remove the ineligible beneficiaries so as to include only the most eligible, he added.
As per the data placed before Parliament, maximum of 40 lakh AAY beneficiaries are covered in Uttar Pradesh, followed by 25 lakh in Bihar, 24.8 lakh in Maharasthra, 18.6 lakh in Tamil Nadu and 15.8 lakh beneficiaries in Madhya Pradesh.
As per the guidelines, AAY families are to be identified by states/UTs based on set criteria, the minister added.