Congress-ruled Haryana — one of the first few states planning to roll out the ambitious national food security ordinance (NFSO) from August 20 — will rely on the data sought from the central government for the identification of priority households (the beneficiaries) in the state.
“The identification of priority households will be based on the socio-economic caste census conducted by the Registrar General of India, ministry of rural development and ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation,” state officials said.
Officials said there was no point in duplicating the efforts for identifying the priority households by conducting a fresh survey. Not only the fresh survey will be a time-consuming exercise, it will also have a potential to create disputes. “We have written to the central government, asking them to share with us the socio-economic data (excluding the caste- and religion-based data) pertaining to Haryana,” a top official said.
As per the tentative statistics from the Centre, nearly 76.45 lakh additional beneficiaries in Haryana will be covered under the NFSO. Thus, the total number of beneficiaries in rural and urban areas will be increased to nearly 1.3 crore in the state which will be 51.61% of the state’s total population.
Officials said that at present, about 23.35% of the rural population and 17.91% of the urban population is being covered under targeted public distribution system (TPDS) in Haryana. The percentage of beneficiaries, however, will soar to 51.59% (rural) and 51.66% (urban) under the NFSO.
THE CURRENT SCENARIO
Officials said that at present, the TPDS beneficiaries comprise those categorised under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Below the Poverty Line (BPL). Currently, AAY beneficiaries get 35-kg wheat for Rs. 2.12 per kg every month and the BPL ration card holders get 35-kg wheat for Rs. 5.20 per kg.
There are nearly 11.44 lakh AAY beneficiaries and 43.29 lakh other beneficiaries in the state. Since the central government has imposed a ceiling on the number of AAY (3.03 lakh) and BPL families (4.87 lakh), the state government had, in 2008, decided that those who could not be included in the BPL list due to the cap would be provided foodgrains at subsidised rates. Hence, such families called state BPL families are provided Above the Poverty Line (APL) wheat at the rate and scale of BPL beneficiaries and the difference of Rs. 1.95 per kg in rate is compensated with state subsidy.
Officials said subsidised foodgrains at the rate and scale of BPL are also supplied to migrant brick kiln labourers with state subsidy. Homeless people are also supplied foodgrains under the TPDS at the rate and scale of the AAY.
A state run cooperative, Federation of Consumers Coop Wholesale Stores Ltd (CONFED), will continue to function as the wholesale nominee of foodgrains and will ensure doorstep delivery of foodgrains to fair price shops in the state.
Regarding the allocation of foodgrains, officials said the current sanctioned monthly allocation for Haryana is about 63,000 metric tonnes of wheat for distribution to AAY and BPL families. The revised allocation required will be 69,654 metric tonnes per month, officials said.
The state government has also decided to give away 2.5-kg pulses per household per month for subsidised rate of Rs. 20 per kg to AAY and BPL families. “We propose to include moong sabut, urad sabut, masur sabut, chana dal, kala Chana under the dal-roti scheme,” officials said. The state government will incur an additional financial burden of Rs. 240 crore annually on the supply of subsidised pulses.