Defending his decision to give Rs. 600 every month to two lakh families, Delhi food and civil supplies minister Haroon Yusuf said the amount is a kind of assistance to vulnerable families which are living below poverty line but are not entitled to get essential food commodities at subsidised rates under the public distribution system.
Yusuf said a survey has revealed there are actually 7.5 lakh families in Delhi living below the poverty line.
“The Annashree scheme benefits those vulnerable households living in slums, resettlement colonies and JJ clusters of Delhi, which are not covered under the Public Distribution System (PDS),” Yusuf told reporters in a press conference.
“As of now the government has planned to give Rs. 600 per month to the families. We may review the amount if we felt at a later stage that it was required,” Yusuf said.
The planning commission has put a cap of 4.09 lakh families below poverty line that can avail food items at subsidised rates through PDS.
Under the Annashree scheme, we will give Rs. 600 per month as cash assistance to two lakh families. This is the amount that the BPL and Antodaya families are saving on buying the three food items from fair price shops rather than from the open market, Yusuf said.
The fair price shops give 25 kilograms of wheat for Rs. 4.65 per kilogram, 10 kilograms of rice for Rs. 6.15 per kilogram and 6 kilograms of sugar at Rs.13.50 per kilogram while these items are available in the open market at R17, R20 and R37 per kilogram respectively, Yusuf said.
While 13,000 families have already been registered under the scheme, another 10,000 families would be registered in a month.