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Maha Vikas Aghadi govt’s Shiv Bhojan Thali scheme under review

State’s Food and Civil Supplies Minister Ravindra Chavan told The Indian Express on Sunday that a comprehensive review of the implementation of the scheme is necessary.

The Shiv Bhojan Thali scheme provided a thali meal in urban areas for Rs 50 and rural areas for Rs 35. (File Photo)

The state government has placed the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government’s flagship Shiv Bhojan Thali scheme under review and stayed its decision to increase the number of plates until the Cabinet takes a final call on the scheme’s future.

State’s Food and Civil Supplies Minister Ravindra Chavan told The Indian Express on Sunday that a comprehensive review of the implementation of the scheme is necessary. “It is a good scheme. But it needs to be checked whether intended beneficiaries are actually gaining from it. A digital watch through a mobile application on every plate that is being consumed will be kept and at the same time the scheme will be reviewed,” he said.

Among the last few decisions of the MVA government was to increase the maximum number of plates to be served across the state to 2 lakh from 1,88,463. After the new government of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in on June 30, all decisions taken by the previous dispensation came under review.

Chavan said that after the review, the observations will be placed before the cabinet. “The decision on its future implementation will be taken by the cabinet,” he said. When asked whether the current government plans to end the scheme, Chavan said a ‘detailed review’ is necessary and any decision will be taken by the state cabinet.

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The Shiv Bhojan Thali scheme provided a thali meal in urban areas for Rs 50 and rural areas for Rs 35. The eateries sell the thali to people at Rs 10 and the government pays the remaining charges.

According to data as on September 24, Maharashtra has a total of 1,699 eateries of which 1,549 serve Shiv Bhojan thalis. The number of approved thalis in the state is 1,88,463 but the number of actual plates distributed is 1,45,591. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Maharashtra government had slashed the price of thali to Rs 5 and then from April 2021, it was given for free and even parcel service was allowed. As the pandemic was brought under control and lockdown was lifted in phase-wise manner, the price was again made Rs 10.

First published on: 26-09-2022 at 01:10 IST
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