State, charitable trust join forces to make wheat flour available to the underprivileged at a nominal price through public distribution system
The underprivileged in Mumbai and Thane will soon get wheat flour through the public distribution system (PDS). The state government has joined hands with the Tata Trust for this project, which will be extended to other districts.
The idea came during a meeting of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and industrialist Ratan Tata. The charitable Trust will buy wheat from the state, mill it and supply the flour for free to PDS, which will then give it to ration cardholders for a nominal price. A final decision on this was taken yesterday.
"Currently, a ration card-holding family gets 13-15 kg of wheat every month. The idea is to offer quality readymade wheat flour, say three to four kg, every month. We will decide the PDS rate very soon; we are confident that the rate will be much lower than that of the open market," said a senior official of PDS department.
"The government has decided to start a pilot project in the island city, suburbs and Thane district, where a significant number of PDS beneficiaries reside."
The officer added that the scheme would be extended to the rest of Maharashtra in phases after assessing response to the pilot project.
As per official statistics, as of 2014, the island city and suburbs have 41,62,141 ration cards, while Thane has 1,91,420. The entire state has 2,37,10,666 ration cards. There are different kinds of cards for which supply of grains is specified. Generally, affluent families don't buy PDS commodities though they may have ration cards.
15 kg Quantity of wheat a ration card-holding family gets every month
4 kg Wheat flour a ration card-holding family is likely to get every month under the scheme