A day after Sonia Gandhi asked Congress-ruled states to implement the food security scheme in 'letter and spirit', Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Sunday said her government was "gearing up" for its roll out in the city on August 20, the birth anniversary of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Considering the potential of the populist scheme in the assembly elections in the city slated for November, Dikshit last week had announced that Delhi will be the first state in the country to launch the scheme, dubbed by the Congress as 'game changer' in the Lok Sabha polls in 2014.
"Our government is gearing up to launch the Food Security Scheme on August 20. We are working hard to ensure successful implementation of the scheme to ensure a hunger-free Delhi," Dikshit said while addressing a workshop of Resident Welfare Associations.
The Chief Minister said 5.10 lakh families in the city will be provided food grains under the scheme in the first phase and the entitled food grain will be given to the beneficiary families through their senior most female members to with an aim to empower the fairer sex.
"We will provide food grains to 5.10 lakh families in the first phase which will mean coverage of around 32 lakh people under the scheme. The scheme would go a long way in overcoming malnutrition and poverty.
"We will give the entitlement to senior most female member of the beneficiary families in order to further empower women in the Capital city," the Chief Minister said.
Dikshit has already ordered all concerned agencies and departments to complete the ground work for roll out of the scheme and appointed a committee under chairmanship of Food and Supply Minister Harun Yusuf to ovesee the preparations.
The city government would side-by-side include more families under the ambit of Food Security.
She further stated that the government would distribute Food Security Cards in formal launch function which would help in realising food security guarantee at large.
In the first phase, all the BPL families, Above Poverty Line (APL) card holders and Jhughi Ration Card (JRC) holders and beneficiaries under Antodaya Anna Yojna will be included.
The city government has also decided to include homeless people, daily wage earners, rag pickers, people living in resettlement colonies and slum clusters in the first phase implementation of the scheme.
No income tax payers, vehicle and house owners will be included under the scheme in the first phase, officials said adding that the second and final phase of implementation of the scheme will be launched in February next year.
They said the beneficiaries of Annashree Yojna, who are getting a monthly cash subsidy of Rs 600, are likely to be kept out in the first phase.
Under the scheme, three-fourth population of the country will have the right to get 5 kg of foodgrains every month at highly subsidised rates of Rs 1-3 per kg.
Per kg of rice will be supplied at Rs 3 while wheat and wheat and coarse cereals will be given at Rs 2 and Rs 1 per kg respectively under the programme.
However, about 2.43 crore poorest of the poor families covered under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) scheme under PDS would continue to get 35 kg of grains per family per month but with legal entitlement.