The Delhi Government is working towards integrating the Annasree scheme of providing cash transfer of Rs.600 per month to nearly two lakh poor families for purchase of foodgrains by linking it to the UIDAI Aadhaar scheme to exclude bogus ration card holders.
Delhi Food & Supplies Minister Haroon Yusuf said on Wednesday that the Annasree scheme, which will be launched in November, will cover people not holding Below Poverty Line (BPL) and Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) cards.
“The UIDAI is the most authentic identification and it will help in weeding out bogus card holders,” the Minister said, adding that the linkage for the project was being worked upon.
As in the case of kerosene, of which about 70 per cent was getting siphoned off, and to curb which the Delhi government joined hands with the Centre to provide households with domestic cooking gas instead, Mr. Yusuf said the government wants to ensure that benefits of the scheme are reaped by the genuinely poor and underprivileged people. It is estimated that about 15 per cent of card holders may be bogus at present.
Mr. Yusuf said the government was keen to ensure that people are able to get their ration supply with respect.
“To this end, we will introduce the cash transfer scheme through electronic clearance system [ECS] on an optional basis in one of the districts. The Planning Commission is positively pursuing this scheme as it will place funds directly in the hands of beneficiaries.”
Noting that a United Nations Development Program survey had observed that cash transfers had a huge bearing on the protein intake of beneficiaries as it empowered them to gain access to better quality food, the Minister said a pilot project in Raghubir Nagar had also revealed that mere introduction of the project had brought about a qualitative change in the supply of grains and overall functioning of the fair price shops.
“To begin with, the project will be launched on an optional basis in one of the districts, which in all likelihood would be in the Trans-Yamuna area. This will help us gauge the response of the people and also allow the masses an opportunity to see whether it was a success before they opted for it. Further, as in most such schemes, here too the money will be transferred into the bank account of the eldest woman member of the family so as to prevent its misuse.”
Mr. Yusuf said the Delhi government will also be re-starting the sale of reasonably priced fortified wheat from the first week of September to help people save some money in their monthly budget. A 10-kg bag of the high-fibre flour will be sold at Rs.145. He said the scheme, launched a couple of years ago and discontinued earlier this year, was a success as nearly two lakh tonne of flour was sold through it.
With Delhi government receiving assurance of wheat supplies from the Centre, it has drawn up plans to sell about 6,000 tonne to 8,000 tonne of flour per month through 280 outlets (four in each Assembly segment) of its own, apart from 89 of Kendriya Bhandar and offices of the Food and Supplies Department.