Chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Sonia Gandhi launched the Dilli Annashree Yojna - a food security programme of the Delhi government - on Saturday.
Under the scheme, claimed to be the first-of-its-kind in the country, a monthly cash subsidy of Rs. 600 will be transferred directly into the Aadhaar-linked bank accounts of the senior-most women member of the family. Nearly two lakh poor families will be benefited through the scheme. As many as 14,000 beneficiaries were given cash subsidy of Rs. 4,800 as entitlements for the past eight months as the scheme is being implemented with effect from April 1.
With this, Delhi has become the first state to connect Aadhaar numbers with government subsidies for poor.
The Congress at the Centre is already banking on its cash transfer scheme, starting next year in 51 districts across the country, to emerge victorious in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Gandhi said that food and fertiliser subsidies were yet to be brought under the Centre's direct benefit transfer system. She said Annashree, too, does not aim at substituting the public distribution system (PDS) but to "increase" the number of beneficiaries and reach out to those left out by the PDS.
Gandhi said, "The money will directly go into the hands of the women of beneficiary families."
Those not getting subsidised food under either the below poverty line scheme or Antyodaya Anna Yojana, have been identified as beneficiaries of the Dilli Annashree Yojna.
Dikshit said direct cash transfer will help the poor in purchasing the goods they need.