Anna Bhagya Plus: Govt will be spending Rs 3k crore more: Khader

Food and Civil Supplies Minister U T Khader on Friday said that the government will be spending Rs 3,000 crore per annum on additional two kg of rice, totalling seven kg to be provided under ‘Anna Bhagya Plus’ for below poverty line (BPL) card holders from April 1.

Addressing media persons here, Khader said the government has been purchasing rice at the rate of Rs 30 per kg for the benefit of 4.20 crore BPL card holders in the state. With the addition of two kg rice per every individual in the families (of BPL card holders), the government intends to ensure that no one goes down due to hunger, he said.

Income certificate
On the other hand, following the government’s announcement to revise existing guidelines to avail  BPL cards, nine lakh people have applied for income certificates. According to the new guidelines, those with an annual income of Rs 1.2 lakh can go for self-declaration by filling details on the application, to avail the benefit. They have to provide income certificates as proof.

To ensure a hassle-free process, the department is also in talks with both revenue department and National Informatics Commission (that deals with government websites irrespective of department) to directly download the income certificates and provide the same to applicants, he added.

Vigilance committee
That apart, to ensure timely services, a three-member vigilance committee will be constituted in each fair price shop. The three members will be randomly selected among the card holders. If elderly persons are selected, they will be replaced by others. They will be tasked with the supervision of the system related to distribution of essential commodities. In case of malpractices, they are vested with powers to recommend for cancellation of licence of such shops, he said.

Indira canteens
On the ambitious programme of the state Government to open canteens in the name of Indira Gandhi, Khader said that the government has invited expression of interest in this regard. The canteens wil be set up in each ward of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagarapalike (BBMP) and a centralised kitchen will be set up for every eight wards. While the proposal of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon) is in abeyance for not using onion and garlic in preparing food items, many hotel groups, including Balaji Hotel Association, has come forward, Khader said.

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