UT to roll out direct food subsidy project from February 1

Over 15,000 BPL families will get direct cash subsidy for food in bank accounts

The UT Administration will be rolling out the Centre scheme for direct transfer of food subsidy to approximately 1 lakh beneficiaries from February 1. Chandigarh, along with other UTs, have been selected for the launch of the pilot project of 'Targeted Public Distribution System'.

Over 15,000 BPL (Below poverty Line) beneficiaries and approximately 75,000 APL (Above Poverty Line) families will soon get cash subsidy for food directly deposited in their bank accounts. The scheme has been started with the aim to plug leaks and diversion of food grains and also to test the feasibility of the programme before it is launched in other states.

As per officials of the Food Supplies department, under the scheme, foodgrains will be issued by the Food Corporation of India at an appropriate cost which is near the existing market price. The cash subsidy equal to the difference in the appropriate cost and the present issue price will be credited to the bank account of the beneficiary in advance to enable the beneficiary to purchase the foodgrains at this cost.

The subsidy will be directly transferred in the bank accounts of the beneficiaries and they will be able to take the food grains from the Fair Price Shops, which are already taking care of the public Distribution System.

Speaking to Chandigarh Newsline, the secretary of the Food Supplies department, Satya Gopal said: "The project is in the implementation stage. To ensure that every beneficiary has a bank account, representatives of the designated nationalised banks of the area where ever the fair price shops are located, will be available. So in case if any beneficiary does not have a bank account, it will be facilitated. Other details such as how much subsidy is to be given and other policy issues are being worked out between the Ministry of Food and Public Distribution and the UT Administration."

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