The Delhi Cabinet has decided to extend the free ration scheme in the city till September 30, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Wednesday.
The move will benefit nearly 73 lakh beneficiaries in Delhi, he said.
Kejriwal said his government has been supplying ration for free to almost 73 lakh citizens since April 2020 in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.
"The Delhi government has been providing free ration to the people for the last couple of years. The government offers ration at a nominal rate from ration shops. "However, for the last few years, we've been giving that for free. We have extended this scheme till September 30 and will continue supplying free ration in the coming months too," Kejriwal said at a online media briefing after the cabinet meeting. The government also released a statement later where it said during the meeting, the Food and Civil Supplies department proposed the extension of the scheme for NFSA beneficiaries for another four months from June to September 2022.
The CM took cognisance of the inflation as a result of the pandemic and supported the merits of the proposal, saying it was pertinent to extend the scheme to give much needed relief to the masses, the statement said.
The Delhi government distributes free ration to beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013. The city has over 2,000 fair price shops, 17.77 lakh ration card holders and around 72.78 lakh beneficiaries. NFSA beneficiaries include needy people like migrant workers, unorganised workers, construction workers, domestic helpers and those who do not have ration cards. Under the free ration scheme, five kg of food grains are provided free of cost to the needy according to the eligibility prescribed under the NFS Act 2013. This includes four kg of wheat and one kg of rice per person per month. In December 2021, the Delhi government had extended the free ration scheme till May 31, 2022.