Hyderabad: Ration sops for below poverty line (BPL) families in the state were announced by the Telangana government on Saturday.
It relaxed crucial norms for BPL families for eligibility to obtain food security cards replacing existing white ration cards. Interestingly, the card colour would be pink, the TRS party colour, with white card benefits.
The income limit to obtain subsidised rice and other essential commodities through ration shops has been increased from the existing Rs 60,000 per annum to Rs 1.50 lakh in rural areas and from Rs 75,000 to Rs 2 lakh per annum in urban areas.
There will be no change in rice price. The government will continue to supply rice at the existing rate of Rs 1 per kg. The rice quota for each household has been enhanced. At present, 4 kg of rice is being supplied per head in the family with an upper cap of 20 kgs for each household.
The state government has increased the rice quota to 6 kg per head and there is no maximum limit for a household. A family of 10 members can draw 60 kgs of rice and so on.
The cabinet sub-committee headed by Finance and Civil Supplies minister Mr Etela Rajender submitted a report to Chief Minister Mr K. Chandrasekhar Rao making these recommendations.
Mr Rao immediately approved it and directed officials to issue orders. Later, addressing a press conference, Mr Rajender said, The relaxation of norms to obtain food security cards reflect the sincerity and commitment of KCR and the TRS government towards the welfare of the poor and the needy.
Opposition parties have been creating unnecessary panic among BPL families with false propaganda stating that ration cards would be denied to more than half of the existing beneficiaries. The government’s only aim was to weed out bogus beneficiaries and ensure that all genuine people get ration cards. It is for this purpose that the household survey was done and door-to-door verification of ration card applicants is being done to identify genuine beneficiaries.
He said though the new food security cards are being issued in accordance with the National Food Security Act, the government is ready to bear the additional expenditure it will incur on account of relaxations of norms specified in the Act.
While the Act stipulates that these cards should not cover more than 40 per cent of the population in urban areas and 60 per cent in rural areas, the TS government has relaxed these norms.
“There is no maximum limit as such with regard to number of beneficiaries. We will issue cards to each and every eligible household irrespective of number. While the Centre will bear the financial burden as per norms, we will bear the additional burden on account of relaxation of these norms,” Mr Rajender added.
The Commissioner of Civil Supplies Mr C. Parthasarathy, said, “There is no need to obtain any income certificate from revenue offices. Officers will take up door-to-door verification of every household to determine their eligibility. We already have complete data in the intensive household survey. The application will be crosschecked with this data besides door-to-door enquiry.”