With election notification expected by the first week of March, the State government will formally launch the ANNA (affordable nutrition & nourishment assistance) scheme under which beneficiaries will receive rice at Re 1 per kilogram from March 1.
This was announced on Tuesday by Dr Himanta Biswa Sharma adding that the current distribution system under the National Food Security Act will not be disturbed.
The cooperatives will get the same transportation cost and commission. However, instead of Rs 3 per kg, they will lift the rice from the Food Corporation of India (FCI) through a challan of Rs 1 per kg as the FCI is being paid Rs 2 separately by the state government for which Rs 54 crore has been released. The monthly bill will be Rs 27 crore.
The scheme is expected to benefit 53 lakh families – those having ration cards – who are currently getting rice at Rs 3 under the NFSA, the minister said, adding, the scheme will be launched formally by the Cooperatives on February 28.
Under the second component of ANNA, four lakh card holders in tea garden areas will get free rice from March 1. “We have identified four lakh cards which belong to tea garden areas. They will be given free rice” he said.