Millennium Post

8.5 cr have already benefitted from Khadya Sathi: Mamata

Kolkata: The flagship 'Khadya Sathi' scheme launched by the Mamata Banerjee government in Bengal stepped into its third year on Sunday. It was on this day in 2016 when the Chief Minister had launched the scheme, under which over 8.5 crore people of the state, which is 90 percent of the population, get foodgrains at Rs 2 per kg.

"Today is #KhadyaSathiDibas. We have ensured food security of over 8.5 crore people of #Bangla who get rice at Rs 2/kg. We provide special assistance to those in Jangalmahal, Hills & Aila-affected areas, farmers of Singur, tea garden workers & the Toto tribe," Banerjee tweeted.

It may be mentioned that January 27 is celebrated as Khadya Sathi Dibas in Bengal, as this is one of the most successful schemes of the state government. According to sources in the Food & Supplies department, 7.42 crore people are now getting foodgrains at Rs 2 per kg, while 1.4 crore others are getting the same at half the market rate.

Among those getting foodgrains at the rate of Rs 2 per kg are 3,12,718 people of Aila-affected blocks and 3,619 reluctant farming families of Singur, getting 16 kg foodgrains per month. 8,75,703 beneficiaries of the Hills and 35,11,186 beneficiaries of Jangalmahal are getting 11kg foodgrains per month.

All working and non-working families residing in the tea gardens (enrolled under Antodya Anna Yojana) are getting 35 kg foodgrains per month. The more needy beneficiaries are getting foodgrains completely free of cost. 1,572 beneficiaries of 139 Toto families in Alipurduar district are getting 11 kg foodgrains per month.

Almost 6,000 malnourished children and their mothers are getting 5 kg rice, 1 kg masoor dal, 2.5 kg wheat or fortified whole wheat flour (fortified atta) and 1 kg gram.

"We have also completed 100 percent digitisation of ration cards as a component of this scheme," an official in the department said. Digital ration cards have been provided to 8.82 crore people.

Over the last seven and a half years, the state government has taken significant steps to augment the storage capacity of foodgrains by building more warehouses and revamping the infrastructure of the existing ones. The food storage capacity has increased 15 times to 9.36 lakh metric tonnes (MT). Work is currently in progress for enhancing the capacity by another 5 lakh MT.

It may be mentioned that as part of the mantra of 'Food For All', the state has also ensured that farmers get as much help as possible in producing that food, in the form of incentives.

Another incentive recently introduced is 'Dhan Din, Cheque Nin' (sell paddy, get cheque), wherein farmers get immediate payment for their paddy sold through cheques.

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