UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi roll out cash subsidy transfer scheme


New Delhi: UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi will launch a major food security programme of Delhi government on Saturday under which monthly cash subsidy of Rs 600 will be transferred directly into bank account of the senior-most female member of two lakh poor families.

The government has tied up with the five leading banks for implementation of the ‘Dilli Annashree Yojana’ which will be implemented with retrospective effect from April 1.

Two lakh families which are not getting subsidised food under either BPL scheme or Antyodaya Anna Yojana will be the beneficiaries of the ambitious food programme.

The government will spend around Rs 150 crore in the current fiscal for the scheme. Officials said each of the beneficiary families will be provided cash subsidy of Rs 4,800 tomorrow as entitlements for last eight months. The beneficiaries have been identified through a survey. ”It is a major scheme of my government which will be launched by Sonia Gandhi,” Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said.

The Delhi government claimed that the scheme will be the first important initiative by any state government to go beyond the traditional definition of poverty and to provide citizens with the food security through cash transfers.

Around four lakh poor households are getting subsidised food items under BPL and AAY schemes currently and those who are not covered by these two scheme will get the direct cash subsidies under the new programme which was announced by Dikshit while presenting the annual budget in May.

The officials said the government was considering to offer the cash subsidy to the four lakh beneficiaries who are currently getting subsidised food items.
The city government has been favouring cash transfer to beneficiaries instead of subsidised food grains and had even sought an option of direct cash transfer to BPL families instead of foodgrains in the ambitious Food Security Bill, which is being vetted by a Parliamentary panel.

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Subrat Thayal