Delhi govt to enrol at least one lakh more people under food security scheme
The Delhi government’s food and supplies department has restarted the exercise to clear all pending ration card applications in order to extend the benefit of the free ration scheme to more number of people.
There are 1.61 lakh application clearances pending with the department of which 13,131 are awaiting approval after completion of field verification, a senior official said, on condition of anonymity.
The Delhi government on Tuesday had decided to extend the free ration scheme till November. It also directed the food and civil supplies department to start ration distribution for July in a phased manner from Wednesday, the government said in a statement.
“Last week, orders were issued to all food and supplies officers to clear all pending applications. We are currently processing those applications in which the field verification has already been done,” the official quoted above said.
“The processing of applications for new ration cards, additions, deletions, transfers, etc., was resumed in circle offices along with work related to servicing containment zones, distribution of ration under the public distribution system (PDS), Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, and Aatma Nirbhar Bharat, among others. The department officials are being provided with necessary protection measures, including face shields, when they go out on field verifications,” another senior official, also on condition of anonymity, said.
The approval of new ration cards was put on hold on account of the nationwide lockdown, as field verification was not possible during that time. A food and supplies officer, requesting anonymity, said, “During the lockdown, we were busy distributing rations to schools where temporary shelters had been set up. It was not possible to clear the pending applications then as we could not carry out field verifications. We have now started the process again.”
The beneficiary limit under the government scheme is 72.78 lakh people of which 71.54 lakh are already enrolled and currently availing of the benefits. “We have the scope to register nearly one lakh more people. This means we can approve around 25,000 applications as, on average, each applicant family has four members. Moreover, a ration card is a dynamic process and the number of beneficiaries keep changing due to births and deaths in a family,” a fourth senior official said.
A week ago, on June 30, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the extension of the government’s free ration scheme, Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, till November-end.
According to department officials, the national food security beneficiaries are provided 5kg of foodgrains every month, including 4kg wheat and 1kg rice.
A Delhi government spokesperson said, “Issuing ration cards is a continuous process, but it was stalled due to the lockdown imposed because of Covid-19. We have started the process to issue new ration cards now. During lockdown, we were providing ration to all the existing beneficiaries and also to those who are not registered with the government.”