UT Forms Panel to Identify Target Group for Food Security Bill
August 22, 2013

The Chandigarh Administration has constituted a committee to identify the target group of beneficiaries under the proposed Food Security Bill. The committee - to be headed by Additional Deputy Commissioner Tanvi Garg - has been given the task of determining the income criteria for the beneficiaries and other parameters. These recommendations will then be sent to the Centre for approval.

At present there are 99,000 ration card holders in the city. Around 4.23 lakh people are already covered under various social security schemes - APL, BPL and Antodya categories. As per the ordinance, as many as 5.20 lakh people in Chandigarh may become entitled to subsidised food under the Food Security Act. The committee is also likely to explore the possibility of inclusion of another one lakh people apart from the 4.23 lakh.

Once the Bill is passed by the Parliament, it will then be adopted in Chandigarh. A senior official of the UT Administration said that the groundwork is being done. Chandigarh has a population of 10.55 lakh. As per recent data released by the Planning Commission, 21 percent or 2.35 lakh people in the city survive on less than Rs 1,155 per month. Once the Food Security Bill is adopted, almost half of the population will be provided food items at subsidised rates — rice for Rs 3 per kg, wheat at Rs 2 per kg and coarse grains at Rs 1 per kg. The existing public distribution system would be made use of for disbursing of the food items.

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