The Delhi government wants to be the first in the country to launch the scheme next month.

With the Delhi government vying to be the first to launch a food security scheme next month, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Tuesday issued directions to the department and agencies concerned to make all necessary preparations. The scheme is set to launch in the capital on August 20 to coincide with former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s birth anniversary.

Ground work

At a high-level meeting held on Tuesday, sources said, Ms. Dikshit directed Chief Secretary D.M. Spolia and the Food and Civil Supplies Department to complete all the ground work for launching the scheme as planned.

Sources also said that Ms. Dikshit will make a presentation about her government’s preparedness in implementing the scheme at Saturday’s meeting called by Congress president Sonia Gandhi with party Chief Ministers.

“The modalities of implementing the scheme were discussed in the meeting. The key challenge is to identify the beneficiaries who will be covered under the scheme,” said a senior official of the Delhi Government.

A more detailed meeting will be held in a couple of days to discuss further aspects, said the official.

Ms. Dikshit met Minister of State (Independent charge) for Food K.V. Thomas on Monday to say that Delhi will be ready by mid-August to launch the programme, well before the model code of conduct comes into force. Delhi goes to polls at the end of the year along with four other States.

National ordinance

Last week, the Union Government notified the National Food Security Ordinance, 2013, which entitles 67 per cent of the population to receive subsidised grains from the government every month.

The ordinance places the responsibility of implementation and monitoring of the scheme under the Targeted Public Distribution System on the States. It gives them six months to put the systems in place to deliver the programme.

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