New Delhi: The government today said it has
prepared a draft scheme to check the feasibility of providing
food subsidy in cash to the poor instead of foodgrain, on a
pilot basis in select districts of three states.
Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi have submitted proposals
for direct disbursement of food subsidy in cash to the below-
the-poverty line (BPL) families on a pilot basis instead of
distributing foodgrain through the public distribution system.
"Based on these proposals, a draft scheme has been
prepared to test the feasibility of transferring food subsidy
in cash to the BPL families," Minister of States for Food and
Agriculture KV Thomas told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.
The draft scheme has been referred to the Finance
Ministry for approval of the committee on non-Plan
expenditure, he said.
Currently, the government provides 35 kg of foodgrain
every month to 6.52 crore BPL families at subsidised price
through the PDS network. It also supplies 10-35 kg wheat and
rice per month to 11.5 crore APL families at cheaper rates
through the same. The BPL families get wheat and rice at Rs
4.15 a kg and Rs 5.65 a kg respectively, while APL gets wheat
and rice at Rs 6.10 and Rs 8.30 a kg.