Mumbai: Saffron ration card holders of Goregaon, Malad and Jogeshwari are making the most by buying rice and wheat at subsidised rates. This provision has come as the Maharashtra government has started providing rice at Rs 12 per kilogram (kg) and wheat at Rs 8 per kg per ration card for the month of May and June to middleclass families. On Tuesday, residents flocked to kirana stores in Malad east area to gain benefit of this scheme.
Sunanda Chauhan, a resident of Pathanwadi area in Malad east, said, "Initially, when the lockdown was imposed, we bought rice at the rate of Rs 50 to 60 per kg. Also, we bought wheat at Rs 35 to 40 per kg. But now, the state has reduced the price, which is a good initiative to help middle-class families."
Last week, Chief Minister (CM) of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray had tweeted stating, "Saffron ration card holders will be provided 2 kg of rice at Rs 12 per kg and 3 kg of wheat at Rs 8 per kg for the month of May and June." Citizens can avail this benefit at nearby kirana stores that are registered under the Public Distribution System (PDS) of the government.
It is good that the state is initiating provisions and schemes for saffron card holders as well, instead of just focussing on the yellow card holders or Below Poverty Line (BPL) families, said Vinayak Deshpande, a resident of Jogeshwari west.
Deshpande highlighted, "Generally, the state tends to overlook the financial constraints faced by middleclass families or saffron ration card holders. We are losing jobs and not having a steady monthly income due to the lockdown amidst the CoVID-19 pandemic.
In this time of adversity, at least, we can buy essential foodgrains like rice and wheat for subsidised prices." While for BPL families (yellow ration card holders whose annual family income is up to Rs 15,000), the state is providing free foodgrains at certain spots.
An officer of the state managing the supply chain of foodgrains, said, "We have requested the central government to provide dal and other pulses at subsidised rates too. We are trying to combat hunger by providing free foodgrains to BPL families and subsidised rates of wheat and rice to middleclass families."