Delhi is all set to become the first state in India to launch the UPA government’s ambitious food security programme.
The scheme will be launched on August 20 and its benefits will start reaching eligible families from September 1, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit announced on Friday.
Dikshit said 32 lakh people currently getting subsidised food grain under the public distribution system in different categories would be initially covered in the scheme. “Our target is to cover 73.5 lakh people,” Dikshit told reporters in a press conference.
“Apart from those getting ration under the PDS system, we have identified geographically, socially and occupationally vulnerable groups such as residents of slum resettlement colonies of F, G and H categories, notified ‘aabadi’ in rural villages, shelterless people, transgenders etc,: Dikshit said
Households with disabled people, single women, children living without protection, ragpickers, unskilled workers, porters, casual daily wage workers, cycle-rickshaw pullers, etc., will be eligible under the scheme, she said.
The chief minister said households having an annual income of less than R1 lakh would also get the benefits.
Families whose members own a light or heavy vehicle, owns a building and land in any of the A to E category colonies, receive ration/food subsidy under any other scheme won’t be eligible.
Apart from these, if any member of the household pays income tax, is a government employee or works in local or autonomous bodies of the government and has an electricity connection above 2 kilowatts, they can’t apply for the scheme.
The chief minister said special counters will be put up at 200 locations to distribute food security cards to eligible families.
To weed out any duplication or pilferage, the government has made the Aadhar number mandatory.
“We will give special smart cards to families. The eldest woman in the household will be treated as the head of the household,” food and supplies minster Haroon Yusuf said.
While the public grievance commission will oversee the scheme, the government will soon form a state food commission.