By April '24, 1 cr families to get benefits under five guarantees

Status of Yuva Vikasam, which promised Vidya Bharosa cards to students, unclear

Hyderabad: Nearly 90 lakh households, currently possessing ration cards, can avail of benefits under five of the Six Guarantees promised by the Congress government, while another 10 lakh ration cards will be issued for households to start availing of benefits from the next fiscal, i.e., April 2024, official sources said.

The Congress Six Guarantees are Maha Lakshmi (free travel for all women, allowance, and LPG subsidy), Rythu Bharosa (farmer aid), Gruha Jyothi (free power), Indiramma houses (housing for the needy), Yuva Vikasam (financial aid to students) and Cheyutha (health insurance and pensions).

For implementing the schemes, the state government has decided to seek applications from people for all the guarantees, except for Yuva Vikasam, by holding grama/ward sabhas in all panchayats, municipalities and municipal corporations across the state from December 28 to January 8.

In the first conference held by Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy with district collectors on Sunday, ration cards were decided as the criterion for selection of beneficiaries for the guarantees.

With this, ration cards have regained their significance in the state, as the previous government delinked ration cards from welfare schemes and other benefits. The use of ration cards during the BRS regime was confined to obtaining PDS rice.

At present, the state has 89,98,766 ration card holders. The Centre has issued 43,94,151 under the National Food Security Act and the state government has issued 35,59,013 by enhancing the annual income limit to cover more beneficiaries.

No fresh cards have been issued in the state since 2018. With people applying for one through MeeSeva centres, nearly 10 lakh applications are pending. The state government will give another chance for households to apply for ration cards, and after verification, new cards will be issued, sources said.

The Congress government already launched free bus travel for women and enhanced the Rajiv Arogyasri insurance scheme from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh under Cheyutha, within two days of coming to power on December 7.

Sources said that applications would mainly focus on implementing the rest of Maha Lakshmi and Cheyutha promises, besides Rythu Bharosa, Gruha Jyothi, and Indiramma houses. However, there was no clarity on applications for Yuva Vikasam, under which the Congress had promised Vidya Bharosa cards worth Rs 5 lakh each for students to meet education and related expenses.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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