Centre asks states to cover visually impaired people as AAY beneficiaries under NFSA

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July 23, 2020 6:15 PM

The AAY category people are still covered under the NFSA and there has not been any change, he said. Under the NFSA, subsidised foodgrains are given to more than 81 crore beneficiaries, including AAY people.

I have given all states a direction to cover them as beneficiaries and ensure they get their monthly quota,” Paswan told PTI.

Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Thursday directed states to cover visually impaired people as beneficiaries under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and ensure supply of 35 kg subsidised foodgrains per family.
The directive has been issued after taking “serious note” of the Delhi High Court order that said visually impaired people are kept outside the ambit of AAY category under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

The AAY beneficiaries are the poorest of the poor and continue to get a higher monthly quota of 35 kg foodgrains per family via ration shops when compared to other beneficiaries who get a monthly quota of 5 kg per person under the NFSA.

“I have taken serious note of the Delhi High Court order. Visually impaired people are part of AAY. I have given all states a direction to cover them as beneficiaries and ensure they get their monthly quota,” Paswan told PTI.
It is the responsibility of state governments to identify AAY and priority household beneficiaries for providing ration cards, he said.

“At any cost, the states should not exclude AAY category people,” Paswan said. The states have also been asked to ensure visually impaired beneficiaries also get the benefit of free foodgrains being distributed under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) till November, he added.

The minister further said that in 2003, the beneficiaries list was expanded under the AAY to include visually impaired people. A guideline was also issued to states for implementation of the same. Later when the Centre enacted the NFSA in 2013, the AAY category was maintained but scrapped the rest two categories – Below Poverty Line (BPL) and Above Poverty Line (APL) – and treated uniformly, he said.

The AAY category people are still covered under the NFSA and there has not been any change, he said. Under the NFSA, subsidised foodgrains are given to more than 81 crore beneficiaries, including AAY people.

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