The Shiv Sena today opposed the Maharashtra government's pilot scheme of direct benefit transfer (DBT) to ration cardholders instead of providing them subsidised foodgrains through the public distribution system (PDS). In a letter written to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Sena MLC Neelam Gorhe alleged that the scheme was against the poor and accused the state of deciding on the pilot project without consulting stakeholders. "The government is bound to give food, clothing and shelter to the poor," Gorhe said. Gorhe, in her letter, claimed the state government was implementing the pilot project in two shops in Mumbai without consulting social organisations, cardholders or people's representatives. She further alleged that the decision will benefit private companies and pointed out that the money these cardholders would get under DBT would be much lesser than the market price of foodgrains. The state food and civil supplies department, however, clarified that the DBT scheme was not binding on cardholders. "The pilot scheme will cover 1,400 Antyodaya and priority household ration cardholders. They will have an option to choose either cash or foodgrains," Mahesh Pathak, principal secretary, food and civil supplies department, said. "The cardholders would get 1.25 times the minimum support price in cash. They can choose an option even on a monthly basis," said Pathak. He said that the scheme, which was expected to begin in September, might be delayed by a few days. Pathak added that wheat, rice and kerosene will be covered under the DBT scheme initially.