Mumbai: The Maharashtra Cabinet on Tuesday decided to extend the subsidized meal at Rs 5 per plate under the flagship Shiv Bhojan scheme up to March 31, 2021. So far 1.83 crore people have been benefited under the scheme which was launched on January 26. Initially, per plate Rs 10 was charged but the government from April onwards during the nationwide lockdown it has reduced the charges to Rs 5 per plate. The government will shell out Rs 9.75 crore for the same.
The meal contains two chapatis, one bowl vegetable, one bowl dal and one bowl rice and it is provided to the poor and needy people in the state. During the lockdown the migrants were benefited a lot.
Minister of Food and Civil Supply Chhagan Bhujbal told Free Press Journal, ‘’The Cabinet has approved extension of supply of subsidized meals at Rs 5 per plate instead of Rs 10 till March next year. The cost of Shiv Bhojan per plate for urban areas was envisaged at Rs 50 and for rural areas it will be Rs 35. The poor and needy person will pay Rs.10 only and the balance amount will be borne by the Government. Originally priced at Rs 10 per plate, it is later slashed to Rs 5 per plate during lockdown (till September 31, 2020). The time period has now increased up to March 31.’’
According to Bhujbal, the Shiv Bhojan thali costs the government Rs. 50 in urban and Rs 35 in rural areas, for which the government gives a subsidy of Rs 45 and Rs 30 per plate to the Centre owner.
The department sources said that till date, the government has distributed the subsidy amounting Rs 46.49 crore to centre owners who provide meals in the afternoon. ‘’ As on date 1.83 crore plates were distributed through 895 eateries which comprises almost 1.5 lakh plates per day,’’ said Bhujbal.