Congress government’s Re.1-a-kg Anna Bhagya scheme is being launched in all districts
The Congress government is all set to roll out its most ambitious programme of providing 30 kg of rice a month to below poverty line (BPL) families at Re. 1 a kg from Wednesday.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will launch the Anna Bhagya scheme at Freedom Park at 11 a.m., in the presence of Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Dinesh Gundu Rao and other Cabinet Ministers. It will be simultaneously unveiled in all districts.
The government originally planned to implement the programme from June 1, but postponed it as it could not tie-up on the supply side.
A total of 98.35 lakh Antyodaya Anna Yojana and BPL cardholders are eligible to receive subsidised rice through a network of 20,450 PDS shops across the State. The highest number of BPL cardholders are in Belgaum (6.48 lakh) and lowest in Kodagu (68,719).
Official sources told The Hindu that the State requires 2,78,424 tonnes of rice per month. A single-member family is eligible for 10 kg rice, a two-member family for 20 kg and a family of three and more for 30 kg rice per month.
The State will get 1.78 lakh tonnes of rice from the Centre every month. It requires an additional 1,07,000 tonnes to implement the initiative, which will cost the exchequer Rs. 4,200 to Rs. 4,300 crore in 2013-14 by way of subsidy, Mr. Rao said.
However, things are expected to ease on the financial front soon. Mr. Rao said the ordinance on food security, issued by the Centre, would in a big way benefit the State’s rice initiative as more people can be included in it with additional subsidy.
The government has decided to get additional rice from Chhattisgarh which has a “bumper stock”. Rice from Chhattisgarh will cost at Rs. 26 to Rs. 27 per kg, including transportation. The State government signed an MoU with the Chhattisgarh government on procurement of rice from that State. In addition, the department has issued a notification facilitating buying from the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX), an online multi-commodity exchange. The bidding process starts on July 24 at 65 different places in the State. “There is no problem in its implementation,” the Minister said. Meanwhile, the department is on a spree to delete “ineligible” cardholders. This month, the department deleted 11 lakh illegible cardholders from receiving subsidised kerosene across the State.