New Delhi: Sonia Gandhi on Saturday launched a major food security programme of Delhi Government under which monthly cash subsidy of Rs 600 will be transferred directly into Aadhaar-linked bank account of the senior-most female member of two lakh poor families.
The launch of the Dilli Anna Shri Yojna, claimed to be first of its kind in the country, came amid Congress signalling that cash transfer scheme beginning from the New Year in 51 districts across the country could be the party's trump card in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
"The scheme reflects sympathy of UPA, Congress and the Delhi government for the poorest section of people on the issue of food security," Gandhi said, unveiling the scheme, at a function in New Delhi.
She said what striked her most about the scheme was that money will go directly into the hands of the women of the beneficiary families, which will boost their self-confidence and empowerment.
Two lakh poor families, which are not getting subsidised food under either BPL scheme or Antyodaya Anna Yojana, have been identified as the beneficiaries of the food programme.
Nearly 14,000 beneficiaries were today given cash subsidy of Rs 4,800 as entitlements for last eight months as the scheme is being implemented with retrospective effect from 1 April.
The Delhi government has tied up with the five leading banks for implementation of the scheme and Aadhaar-linked bank accounts are being opened in a total of 827 branches of the banks across the city.
Hailing Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and her team for a number of welfare schemes, Gandhi said cash transfer scheme is envisaged on the basis of UPA's ideology of balanced development in which the welfare of the poor matters the most.