The Delhi Cabinet on Tuesday approved the inclusion of widows under the ‘Dilli Annashree Yojana’ and has permitted the Vigilance Committees headed by MLAs to recommend up to 500 cases for enrolment under the scheme. “The Annshree scheme will include widows as well,” said Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, adding those enrolled will be entitled for benefits from April 1, 2013.

Ms. Dikshit said the pace of implementation of the scheme needs to be significantly increased so that a large number of families are benefited. “A huge campaign will be launched especially through FM radio to make people aware of the scheme,” she said. The cases enrolled up to July 31, 2013 will be entitled to the benefit with retrospective effect from April 1, 2012, said Ms. Dikshit.

She added that the scheme will continue even after July 31 in order to continue supplementing those vulnerable families not covered under the public distribution system.

The Cabinet also decided to allow the Vigilance Committees of the Food and Civil Supplies Department under the chairmanship of the MLAs to recommend maximum of 500 cases for enrolment under the scheme as per criteria already approved by the Cabinet.

“The MLAs know their constituencies well and can identify the beneficiaries,” said Food and Civil Supplies Minister Haroon Yusuf. “There will be a cap of 500 forms per constituency,” he said.

The scheme, which was announced in the Budget 2012-13, was launched on December 15, 2012. It envisages providing Rs. 600 per month as Direct Benefit Transfer to Aadhar-enabled bank accounts of the senior most female members of the most vulnerable families not covered under the PDS.

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