Direct cash for food security

Countrys first Aadhar-based money transfer scheme

Direct cash for food security

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Saturday launched Delhi government’s ambitious food security programme — Dilli Annshree Yojna — under which a monthly cash subsidy of Rs 600 will be transferred into the bank account of the senior-most female member of the beneficiary family.

The scheme will not only provide speedy transfer of funds to the needy without any middlemen, but will also give an option to buy food items of their choice. They can even use the money for other household requirements.

It is country’s first Aadhar-based cash transfer scheme, which is planned to be extended to 25 lakh people in the first phase. Poor families who neither have below poverty line (BPL) cards nor are under Antodaya Anna Yojna will be covered under the scheme.

Sonia Gandhi said the United Progressive Alliance government planned to introduce the Food Security Bill in Parliament soon. The Direct Benefit Transfer System, to be implemented in 51 districts across the country from January 1, will facilitate cash entitlement under 34 schemes — like pensions and scholarships.

She said Annshree Yojna provides a helping hand to vulnerable families. “It is an important step in the direction of becoming a hunger-free state. I am pleased to learn that the money will go into the account of a woman that will empower her and make her more confident,” she added.

The UPA chairperson gave bank passbooks and Annshree enrolment certificates to 12 women beneficiaries coming from slums and resettlement colonies. She also witnessed the process of transferring assistance amount to their accounts and withdrawal by them with the help of a micro ATM.

Chief minister Sheila Dikshit said the delivery system has been tested and found workable to provide monetary assistance at the doorstep of the beneficiaries. She added that about 14,000 households have been covered on Saturday and the government planned to bring two lakh households under the scheme by the end of this financial year. She described it as a red-letter day in women empowerment.

Unique Identification Authority of India chairperson Nandan Nilekani, food supplies and consumer affairs minister Haroon Yusuf, chief secretary P K Tripathi were also present.

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