Bengaluru | Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday launched payment of cash in lieu of the additional 5 kilograms of rice to beneficiaries under the government's 'Anna Bhagya' scheme. With the launch of the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) programme, the Congress government in the state is fulfilling one more of its five poll 'guarantees' (promises) announced in the run-up to the elections held in May.
Facing difficulty in procuring large quantities of rice required to implement the poll guarantee, the state government decided to pay cash to beneficiaries at the rate of Rs 34 per kg, for the additional 5 kg of rice
under the free rice scheme, which is applicable to every member of a BPL household and 'Antyodaya' households. According to the state government, Karnataka has 1.28 crore ration cards of 'Antyodaya Anna Yojana and Priority Households'.
As much as 99 per cent of these cards are seeded with an Aadhaar number, it said, adding that 82 per cent (1.06 crore) of these cards are linked with active bank accounts, and the cash transfer will start for these beneficiaries.
The remaining ration card holders will be intimated to open new accounts, it added.
As many as 1.27 crore ration cards have one member designated as head of households (HoH). Cash will be transferred to the bank accounts of these HoHs. It said 94 per cent of HoH are women and 5 per cent are men.
The government has already implemented the first poll guarantee, 'Shakti' by providing free services for women in public transport buses last month. While the 'Gruha Jyothi' scheme to provide 200 units of free electricity to households has already come into effect from the beginning of this month, the electricity bill for the same for power consumption this month will come in the beginning of August.
The remaining two guarantees that the government is taking steps to implement soon are -- Rs 2,000 monthly assistance to the woman head of every family (Gruha Lakshmi); and Rs 3,000 every month for unemployed graduate youth and Rs 1,500 for unemployed diploma holders (Yuva Nidhi).