Eligible ration card holders and beneficiaries of the Antyodaya scheme across Maharashtra will get a packet of one kg each of edible oil, sooji (rava), chana dal (split chickpeas) and sugar for Rs 100, the state cabinet decided on Wednesday.
“The packet, named Anandacha Shidha, will be distributed on Gudhi Padwa (March 22) and the birth anniversary of Dr Babasaheb Amberkar (April 14). One packet will cost Rs 100 only,” the government said in a statement.
A similar packet had been distributed during the Diwali season last year but its limited reach had invited criticism from the Opposition.
The Eknath Shinde-BJP government said the populist move is expected to benefit nearly 1,63,000 eligible ration card holders. The food packet will also be given at Rs 100 to the beneficiaries of the Antyodaya scheme, a central food programme for the poorest of the poor.
All the districts in Aurangabad and Amravati divisions and Wardha from Nagpur division have been identified as 14 suicide-prone districts where each and every ration card holder can get the “Shidha” packet, the statement said.
The cabinet also approved the revised estimate for the upper Pravara dam in the Ahmednagar district. The revised cost of the proposed expenditure is Rs 5,177 crore, the statement said.
Once complete, nearly 68,000 hectares will get direct irrigation due to the dam, it said. The beneficiaries will be from Sangamner, Akole, Rahuri, Rahta, Kopargaon and Sinnar from Nashik district, said the statement.