M.V.S Prasad, Joint Director, PIB, Chennai.
In order to make TPDS more focused and targeted towards the poorest of the poor category of the population, the “Antyodaya Anna Yojana” (AAY) was launched in December 2000. AAY contemplates identification of poorest of the poor families from amongst the number of BPL families covered under TPDS within the states and providing them foodgrains at a highly subsidized rate of Rs.2 per kg for wheat and Rs.3 per kg for rice. The States/UTs are required to bear the distribution cost, including margin to dealers and retailers as well as the transportation cost. Thus the entire food subsidy is being passed on to the consumers under the scheme. The identification of the Antyodaya families and issuing of distinctive Ration Cards to these families is the responsibility of the concerned State Governments. Allocation of foodgrains under the scheme is being released to the States/UTs on the basis of issue of distinctive AAY Ration Cards to the identified Antyodaya families. The present monthly allocation of foodgrains under AAY is around 8.51 lakh tones per month as on 31.12.2012.
The scale of issue that was initially 25 kg per family per month has been increased to 35 kg per family per month with effect from 1st April 2002. Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) was launched for one crore families to be identified from the Below Poverty Line (BPL) families. Coverage under this scheme has been expanded thrice since then i.e. during 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06 covering additional 50 lakh households each time. Thus the total coverage under AAY was raised to 2.50 crores AAY families (i.e.38% of BPL)
Detailed guidelines were issued to the States/UTs for identification of the Antyodaya families under the AAY and additional Antyodaya families under the expanded AAY. In order to identify the households criteria adopted:- Landless agriculture labourers, marginal farmers, rural artisans/craftsmen, such as potters, tanners, weavers, blacksmiths, carpenters, slum dwellers and persons earning their livelihood on daily basis in the informal sector like porters, coolies, rickshaw pullers, hand cart pullers, fruit and flower sellers, snake charmers, rag pickers, cobblers, destitute and other similar categories in both rural and urban areas.
Households headed by widows or terminally ill persons/disabled persons/persons aged 60 years or more with no assured means of subsistence or societal support. Widows or terminally ill persons or disabled persons or persons aged 60 years or more or single women or single men with no family or societal support or assured means of subsistence. All primitive tribal households. The above guidelines have further been amended vide letter dated 3rd June, 2009 to include all eligible BPL, families of HIV positive persons in the AAY list of on priority. (PIB Features.)
Read more / Original news source: http://manipur-mail.com/antyodaya-anna-yojana/