As it heads into a general election and unable to pass the food security bill, the UPA is preparing to keep the needy well fed by making more quantities of subsidised grains available to those slightly above the poverty line.
The Cabinet on Thursday decided to sell additional 6.17 million tonne of foodgrains through ration shops at a subsidised price to over 100 million above poverty line (APL) families in the current fiscal, as state granaries run full. The allocations will cost the government a subsidy of about Rs 9,500 crore.
“The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved additional allocation of 4.18 million tonnes of wheat and 1.98 million tonnes of rice to APL families,” an official statement said.
Grains will be provided at below market rates, ensuring a minimum allocation of 15 kg per family per month in 22 states, and 35 kg per family per month in 13 states, it said.
Normally, the government allocates minimum 10.6 kg foodgrain per family each month to APL families.
The food ministry had proposed continuation of extra allocation of 6.17 million tonne to APL families to ensure that each family gets 15-35 kg foodgrain per month this fiscal.
Creamy layer bar up
After a gap of five years, the creamy layer bar for the OBCs got further raised to annual income of R6 lakh. The cabinet’s decision means that OBCs from families with less than the annual income of R6 lakh can apply for reserved category job and seats in government institutes. The move is dubbed by the government to bring equity and greater inclusiveness in society.