UPA's food scheme launched in Rajasthan
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday launched the United Progressive Alliance government’s flagship programme, the food security scheme, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti in the state. The function was held at Nagaur district.
The programme is expected to cover around 4.64 crore people. Speaking on the occasion, Gehlot said that foodgrain would be distributed every month from the 20th till the end of the month through the public distribution system (PDS) and will be available at all ration shops.
Gehlot claimed Rajasthan would be the first state to implement the scheme after conducting an extensive survey and revising the beneficiary list, though Haryana, Delhi and Uttarakhand have implemented it before them without the extensive exercise. He said, “Our effort was to ensure that no genuine beneficiary was left out of the scheme.”
After three months of survey across the state, the government has selected around 90 lakh families (about 4.64 crore people) as beneficiaries under the scheme, he said.
About 38.83 lakh BPL families and Antyodaya Anna Yojana would continue to get 35 kg of wheat at Re 1 per kg every month, Gehlot said. He said the government would bear the subsidy of Rs 250 crore per annum for the scheme.
Over 50 lakh new beneficiaries under the scheme would get wheat at Rs 2 per kg, rice at Rs 3 per kg and bajra at Re 1 per kg, he said.
Besides existing ones, about 2,000 new ration shops would be opened to distribute foodgrain to cover the additional beneficiaries under the scheme, the chief minister said.
The scheme was on Wednesday launched at all district headquarters and panchayat samitis by other ministers. He said by the next 18 days the scheme would cover all the gram panchayats in the state.
Taking a dig at the BJP, Gehlot said communal forces were trying to vitiate the state's atmosphere on the eve of the Assembly polls, but the state government would not let their plan succeed. He said Congress would soon launch a “shanti sandesh yatra” (peace message rally) across the state.