[Hpn] Government Urges Identification Of Poor Families

William Charles Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Thu, 5 Aug 2004 07:26:45 -0400


Government urges identification of poor families :

 India News  New Delhi, Aug 3 :

All state governments have been urged to speed up identification of families
below the poverty line so that food grains at lower costs can be dispatched
to them.

The plan to extend the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY), or the subsidised food
grain scheme, to additional five million people from 15 million currently
was announced in the central budget unveiled in July.

With this move the government hopes to bring a larger percentage of the poor
people without means to eat food thrice a day under the food security net.

The BPL families number around 65.2 million in the country of which
currently only 23 percent are being covered under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana.

The BPL families are estimated to be the worst off among the estimated 260
million poor families in India, bringing down the levels of poverty in the
last few years.

"With the expansion of the scheme, the coverage will increase to 20 million
families, making about 30.66 percent of the total estimated BPL families in
the country," the food ministry said.

In a letter to the secretaries of food and civil supplies of all states and
union territories, the food ministry has requested them to complete the
identification of beneficiaries and issue of distinctive ration cards under
expanded AAY scheme at the earliest.

"The allocation of food grains to the additional families would be made by
the department of food on receipt of information on identification and issue
of such ration cards by the states and union territories," said the letter.

Under the scheme, launched in December 2000, all those households at risk of
hunger would benefit, the official statement said.

The category of BPL families includes landless agriculture labourers,
marginal farmers, rural artisans and craftsmen such as potters, tanners,
weavers, blacksmiths, carpenters, slum dwellers, and persons earning their
livelihood on a daily basis in the informal sector.

Households headed by widows or terminally ill, disabled and aged persons and
all primitive tribal households will also be covered under the scheme.

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