Its plans to kickoff the new rice distribution scheme from January 1 onwards, by Telangana government, as official machineries of 10 districts are racing against time to complete the survey. In the State 76.5 lakh families have been identified as new beneficiaries as per December 27 data. This includes pink cards (set to replace the existing white for BPL families) and Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) cards meant for the poorest of the poor. While the State govt fixed a target of distributing 6.4 lakh AAY cards, so far it identified only 4.15 lakh beneficiaries eligible for it.
In December 2000 the NDA government launched AAY is a Centre-sponsored scheme for the poor in the country. Under it, 35 kg of rice would be provided to beneficiaries irrespective of the number of family members. Speaker Madhusudhana Chary, who is striving to bring back Chenchus into mainstream fold, has used his good offices and ensured AAY cards for Chenchus recently.
During the previous Congress regime, close to 2.28 crore people in the State benefited from the subsidised rice scheme. The State govt distributed 1.17 lakh metric tonnes of rice through fair price shops each month. With rice quantity increasing to 6 kg from previous 4 kg per member and the number of beneficiaries already touching 2.67 crore, Telangana govt would require at least one-and-half times more the quantity of rice required when compared to previous scheme.
However, with 98% of population already having Aadhaar cards, TS govt will issue only cards to BPL families. However, they would be in pink, the customary colour of the ruling party, replacing the white colour. Minister Eatala Rajender already issued directions to district authorities to complete issuance of the new ration card formalities by January end in rural and by February end in urban areas.