In a first,Delhi to roll out food security today

Delhi will become the first to launch the food security programme on Tuesday to coincide with the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: August 20, 2013 2:27 am

Delhi will become the first to launch the food security programme on Tuesday to coincide with the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

The scheme intends to benefit at least 5.1 lakh families or 32 lakh people in Delhi in the first phase. The scheme will eventually cover 73.5 lakh families in the city. The benefit will be given through the eldest woman member of the family in order to further empower women in the capital,Delhi government officials said.

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi will launch the scheme at a ceremony to be held in Talkatora Stadium. Officials said all arrangements have been made to ensure effective implementation.

Under the scheme,the identified families will be eligible for wheat at Rs 2 per kg,rice at Rs 3 per kg and coarse grains at Re 1 per kg.

“All BPL families,Above Poverty Line (APL) card holders and Jhuggi Ration Card (JRC) holders and beneficiaries under Antodaya Anna Yojna (AAY) will be included in the first phase. Twelve families from different districts will be given smart cards in the first instance,’’ a government official said.

The Delhi government intends to issue smart cards to beneficiaries to improve transparency and plug holes in the Public Distribution System (PDS).

“Once smart cards are issued,they will no longer need ration cards. The remaining families will get smart cards soon,” the official said.

The benefit of this scheme will be disbursed from September 1. The government has also decided to include homeless people,daily wage-earners,rag-pickers,people living in resettlement colonies and slum clusters in the first phase of the scheme.

The Parliament is yet to clear the bill but Delhi government said there was no technical issue as the ordinance was in place.

Meanwhile,the BJP on Monday termed the food security scheme a “a political gimmick ahead of Assembly elections”.

The BJP hold a protest at Talkatora Stadium, where the scheme will be launched on Tuesday. “We will put our shops of onions,tomatoes and potatoes in front of the stadium to show voters that the government might be promising you subsidised food,but in reality was taking every penny out of the pockets of the common man,” Delhi BJP chief Vijay Goel said.

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