With lockdown measures intensified to prevent a further spread of COVID-19, the Maharashtra government plans to make subsidised ration supplies available even to vulnerable sections not covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) in Mumbai.
According to official records, Mumbai has around 41 lakh people with ration card. Of this, around 18.78 lakh card holders, identified as being the poorest of the poor, are supplied wheat, rice, and course grain under nominal rates of Rs 3, Rs 2, and Re 1, respectively, under NFSA. Another 20,000 card holders, catering to 1 lakh beneficiaries, are covered under the Antodaya scheme.
With a majority of office and establishments in Mumbai shut on account of the lockdown measures, many daily wage workers have suffered from the loss of wages, making ration supplies to their home a challenge.
“We are planning to provide them ration supplies under the public distribution system,” said a senior official. The proposal was discussed at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday.
According to sources, about 10 to 15 lakh new below poverty line card holders could be supplied subsidised ration under the public distribution net. Meanwhile, just as Food and Civil Supplies Minister Chhagan Bhujbal had last week announced that advanced ration supplies will be provided to eligible beneficiaries for the next two month, sources said that the executive orders for its implementation had been delayed, resulting in overcrowding and confusion at fair price shops in the city.
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