The central government may soon launch a new scheme under the Antoydaya Anna Yojana (AAY) where free foodgrain would be provided to as many as 2.5 crore “poorest of the poor” households.
At present, Central Government is providing 35 kg foodgrain per household per month to AAY families and others covered under the National food security Ac get 5 kg foodgrain per person per head at the rate of Rs 3, Rs 2 and Rs 1 per kg for rice, wheat and coarse grain, respectively.
Name of the new scheme however is not finalized yet, the free foodgrain to AAY family will strengthen the pro-poor image of the government. Recently, food minister Ram Vilas Paswan said in Parliament state governments of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have contributed nothing to implement the National Food Security Act and yet try to claim credit for the scheme.
“The government is spending heavily on subsidising not only procurement and storage of foodgrain but also on the transportation of foodgrain to the states as per requirement,” Paswan said. Under the Targeted Public Distribution System, AAY was introduced in 2000 by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government. In the Budget, Rs 1.34 lakh crore had been allocated for FY17 while as per revised estimate for the last fiscal, the government had incurred a food subsidy of Rs 1.39 lakh crore.