Hon’ble Administrator, U.T., Chandigarh launched the Direct Benefit Transfer(DBT) Scheme for foodgrains

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NewZNew (Chandigarh) : Taking a step further to introduce Govt. Scheme for transfer of subsidy amount in the form of cash in the beneficiaries bank account in lieu of foodgrains, the Hon’ble Administrator, U.T., Chandigarh today i.e., 11th September, 2015 launched the Direct Benefit Transfer(DBT) Scheme for foodgrains. Sh. Vijay Dev, IAS, Adviser to the Administrator, Sh. Sarabjeet Singh, IAS, Finance Secretary, Sh. Anurag Aggarwal, IAS, Home Secretary, Ms. Bhawna Garg, IAS, Secretary (Food & Supplies), Dr. S.B. Deepak Kumar, IAS, Deputy Commissioner-cum-Director (Food & Supplies) and Sh. Danish Ashraf, IAS, Additional Director (Food & Supplies), Union Territory, Chandigarh were present on the occasion.  With this Chandigarh becomes the first Union Territory/State in the country to implement this scheme, as a whole.

DBT-LAUNCH

In February, 2014, Chandigarh became the first Union Territory in the country to implement National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013. As per provision under NFSA, 2013 two categories of households have been defined i.e., Priority Household (PH) and Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) Households. The eligible PH are entitled to receive 05 kg. of foodgrains per member/ unit and the AAY household for a total of 35 kg. of foodgrains (in 3:2 ratio of wheat and rice @ Rs.2/- & Rs. 3/- per kg. respectively).

The subsidy amount for the month of September, 2015 amounting to Rs. 1,68,76,463/- under the Scheme has been transferred directly into the Aadhaar seeded bank accounts of eligible households/beneficiaries.   A total of 41,167 households with 1,78,247 units ( 41,111 Priority Households and 56 AAY households) have been identified for transfer of cash subsidy amount into their respective bank accounts. Thus, from the month of September, 2015 and onwards no foodgrains will be issued to the ration card holders through the network of fair price shops.

The subsidy amount released to the eligible beneficiaries has been calculated on the basis of prices fixed by the GoI for foodgrains i.e., Rs.16.125/-kg. for wheat and Rs.23.125/-kg. for rice. To illustrate, a family of 5 units of priority household would be eligible for Rs.474/- (round off) whereas the AAY households would get a total amount of Rs. 663/- per month (round off). The Priority Household is entitled to receive subsidy amount equivalent to 05 kg. foodgrains per unit/month and AAY Households are entitled @ 35 kg./month foodgrains in the ratio of 3:2 for wheat and rice respectively. In the process of cash transfer, the GoI transfers the requisite amount in the Society’s account operated by the department and thereafter transferred in the bank accounts of respective households, as per their entitlements.

For the purpose of awareness among the general public for inclusion as eligible households under the Scheme various awareness programs/drives have been conducted by the department. Also, for public convenience, all kind of works pertaining to ration cards are being done through e-Sampark /Gram Sampark Centres / Kiosks located in U.T., Chandigarh. The application forms have been made available at all these centres so that no one shall be deprived of the benefits of scheme. The inclusion of eligible households will be a continuous process and subsequent additions will be done on monthly basis.

To make the households aware of their entitlements and transfer of subsidy amount in their respective bank accounts, the Department has co-ordinated with the NSS wing of Chandigarh Administration for mass awareness of DBT scheme for foodgrains. To ensure the handholding, each NSS volunteers have been assigned a total of 50 households each to assist the households for information of DBT amount transfer, operation and withdrawal of amount from their bank accounts and procuring receipt for purchase of foodgrains done by the households.  To ensure the same, the NSS volunteers will reach the eligible households within a week.   Earlier also an awareness drive for the scheme had been done in various parts of the   Chandigarh.

With the implementation of DBT Scheme, the subsidy amount will be directly transferred into the bank accounts of eligible households thereby eliminating the chances of leakage & delays in the supply of foodgrains, if any. The households shall be free to buy foodgrains as per their choices. The department of Food & Supplies and Consumer Affairs & Legal Metrology, U.T., Chandigarh will ensure the availability of foodgrains at controlled prices. Also the department has activated the toll free no.1800-180-2068 and e-mail fcs-chd@nic.in