Millennium Post

Delhi govt to transfer cash subsidy directly to beneficiaries

The Delhi government will launch a major food security programme on 15 December under which monthly cash subsidy of Rs 600 will be transferred directly into bank accounts of the senior-most female members of two lakh poor families not covered by either BPL scheme or Antyodaya Anna Yojana.

The government has tied up with the six leading banks for implementation of the Dilli Annashree Yojana and camps are being organised across the city to help the identified poor families open no-frills bank accounts based on their Aadhaar numbers.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has requested UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi to launch the scheme which will be implemented with retrospective effect from 1 April.

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 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 on 15 December as entitlements for last eight months. The beneficiaries have been identified through a survey.

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.

Dikshit earlier this month had sought Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s help to facilitate direct transfer of cash subsidies.
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