Himachal to extend food subsidy to those left out

Last Updated: Sun, Nov 24, 2013 12:20 hrs

Shimla, Nov 24 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh will convene a special meeting of gram sabhas Dec 1 to identify and include beneficiaries left out of the foodgrain scheme, an official said Sunday.

Deputy commissioners have been instructed to ensure gram sabha meetings are convened in all the 3,243 panchayats so the eligible families are included in the Rajiv Gandhi Ann Yojna, a government spokesman told IANS.

He said over 37 lakh consumers are being provided five kg of food grain per person per month at subsidised rates under the Targeted Public Distribution System.

Each eligible person is being given three kg of wheat at Rs.2 per kg and two kg of rice at Rs.3 per kg.

He said 196,654 Antyodaya (uplift of the lowest man) ration card holders are entitled to get 20 kg wheat at Rs.2 per kg and 15 kg of rice at Rs.3 per kg per family.

The spokesperson said 2,728 beneficiaries under the Annapurna scheme would get 10 kg of additional rice free of cost.

The food grain scheme also envisions women empowerment.

The government has decided in principle to issue ration card of the beneficiary family in the name of senior-most adult female member of the family.

If an eligible family has no adult female member, the card will be issued in the name of the family's male head and transferred in the name of female member when she turns 18 years.

Under the scheme, every eligible pregnant women and lactating mother is entitled to rich protein meal, free of cost during pregnancy and six months after child birth through the local aanganwadi centres.

The state has its own food subsidy scheme under which three pulses, edible oil and salt is provided at subsidised rates to 1,699,255 ration card holders.

The government has recently decided to increase the outlay for the scheme from Rs.175 crore to Rs.237 crore, said the spokesperson.

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