Ration card holders can now avail of increased limit of free foodgrains benefits. A report in Zee Hindi has said that the government has made an announcement regarding a scheme under which it will provide 21 kg wheat and 14 kg rice free of cost to the Ration card holders. The government has decided to give 21 kg wheat and 14 kg rice to Anyodya Ration Card holders. Whereas, common ration card holders will get only 2 kg wheat and 3 kg rice, said the report. However, this time the cardholders will have to spend Rs 2 per kg for wheat and Rs 3 per kg for rice.
Additionally, all the ration card PDS distributors, who have additional packets of salt, oil and gram left, will be distributed free of cost to the Antyodaya card holders as per the order of the government. The government has said that the first come and first serve rule will be followed in this regard.
The “Antyodaya Anna Yojana” (AAY) was launched in December, 2000 for one crore poorest of the poor families. AAY involved identification of one crore poorest of the poor families from amongst the number of BPL families covered under TPDS within the States and providing them food grains at a highly subsidized rate of Rs 2 per kg. for wheat and Rs 3 per kg for rice. The States/UTs were required to bear the distribution cost, including margin to dealers and retailers as well as the transportation cost. Thus the entire food subsidy was passed on to the consumers under the scheme.
The scale of issue that was initially 25 kg per family per month was increased to 35 kg per family per month with effect from 1st April 2002.
As announced in the Union Budget 2005-06, the AAY was expanded to cover another 50 lakh BPL households thus increasing its coverage to 2.5 crore households (i.e. 38% of BPL). Order to this effect was issued on 12th May, 2005.