They want wheat, jowar also supplied at subsidised rates

Anna Bhagya, the flagship programme of the Congress government in the State, is playing the role of game-changer in the life of poor people, whose monthly budget on foodgrains, particularly on rice, has come down drastically.

At least in Gulbarga and Yadgir districts, the families covered under Anna Bhagya scheme of supplying rice at Re. 1 a kg appear to be happy and their only demand is that they be supplied a small quantity of wheat as well under the scheme so that their entire monthly demand for foodgrains could be met.

While the Antyodaya card-holders, numbering 62,212 in Gulbarga district and 28.829 in Yadgir district, are being provided wheat, along with rice, at subsidised rates under public distribution system, the below poverty line (BPL) card-holders covered under Anna Bhagya scheme are provided only rice. During August this year, sugar was not supplied to BPL and Antyodaya card-holders as the total requirement of sugar in the district could not be met with the quantity available. Even the Food and Civil Supplies Department decided not to supply sugar during August owing to short supply.

Savitri Baburao Dotgi, a mother of three children and BPL card- holder residing in Basavanagar slum here, said that she could save about Rs. 100 a month owing to the supply of rice at Re. 1 a kg and the 30 kg being provided was adequate for her family. “However, whatever we are able to save on rice purchase is being spent on wheat or jowar, which are expensive in retail market. Moreover, sugar was not supplied during August and therefore we had to buy it from retail market. If the government can supply wheat or jowar, along with rice, at subsidised rates, we can avoid buying these items from outside and save some money,” she said.

Many other beneficiaries of the scheme, including Nawaz Patel of Seethnur and Dattatreya Kolkur of Nandikur in Gulbarga taluk, expressed happiness over the scheme. The quality of rice being supplied under Anna Bhagya scheme would cost about Rs. 35 to Rs. 40 a kg in retail market, they said.

Deputy Director of Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department A.T. Jayappa told The Hindu that there was no dearth of rice for Antyodaya and BPL card-holders during August. The issue related to supply of wheat and jowar to BPL families had been referred to the government, he said.

Mr. Jayappa said that the entire requirement of rice and wheat for August had been received and lifted by 992 fair price depots in Gulbarga district by August 25. Already, 40 per cent of foodgrains required for September had been received and the remaining quantity was expected to arrive soon. The government had been informed about the short supply of sugar, he said.

During August, 1,10,070 quintals of rice was distributed under Anna Bhagya scheme to about 3.81 lakh BPL card-holders and 18,041 quintals of rice and 3,733 quintals of wheat distributed to 62,212 Antyodaya card-holders in Gulbarga district, Mr. Jayappa said.

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