In a move benefiting 7 lakh families belonging to the above poverty line (APL) category in Chhattisgarh, the Congress government Wednesday decided to provide them rice at subsidised rates and also announced sops for farmers and students.
A decision in this regard was taken at a state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel here at Mantralaya (state secretariat).
The cabinet, which met for the first time after the conclusion of the Lok Sabha polls, approved a slew of important proposals, including waiving agriculture loans of farmers having non-performing accounts in banks under one- time settlement process and expanding facility of free education till Class XII which was up to Class VIII so far.
Briefing the media after the meeting, Agriculture Minister Ravindra Choubey said the cabinet approved a proposal to prepare new ration cards for all below poverty line (BPL) and APL categories people, covering 65 lakh families.
However, till these new cards are prepared, those holding the old ones will continue to get the benefits under the Khyadya Sahayata Yojna through public distribution system (PDS), he said.
Thus, along with the existing ration cards issued in BPL, destitute and physically disabled categories, another 7 lakh APL cards will be prepared, he said.
The ration cards for general category, covering these 7 lakh families, will be divided into two groups - income tax payee and non-income tax payee - and both will be provided rice at a rate of Rs 10 per kg, Choubey said.
In general category, a family of one person will get 10 kg of rice per month, a family of two will get 20 kg and a family of 3-5 persons will get 35 kg rice a month at the subsidised rate, the minister said.
Moreover, a family of more than five persons will get 7 kg rice per unit - that is a family of six will get 42 kg rice a month, Choubey added.
Ration card holders in BPL, destitute and physically disabled categories will continue to get rice at the rate of Re 1 per kg, the minister said.
The cabinet also approved a proposal for waiving agriculture loans of farmers having non-performing accounts in banks under one time settlement process, he said.
Under the scheme, the government will settle Rs 1,175 crore worth of agriculture loans which have been defaulted by farmers, Choubey added.
While the government has decided to pay 50 per cent of such pending loans, the remaining 50 per cent will have to be paid by the farmers concerned, he said.
Notably, the Baghel government has already waived agriculture loans taken by farmers from cooperative banks and PSU banks as promised by the Congress ahead of the November 2018 assembly polls.
The cabinet also decided to affix the name 'Nava Raipur' to Atal Nagar Development Authority and Atal Nagar Smart City Corporation Ltd.
With this, the two urban bodies will now be called Nava Raipur Atal Nagar Development Authority and Nava Raipur Atal Nagar Smart City Corporation Ltd, Choubey said.
The previous BJP government had named Naya Raipur - the upcoming capital city of Chhattisgarh - as Atal Nagar as a mark of tribute to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee after his demise in August last year.
Now, the Congress government has decided to add prefix Nava Raipur to Atal Nagar.
The word Nava in Chhattisgarhi language means new.
The cabinet also approved a proposal to expand the free education and textbook facility till Class XII from this academic year, he said.
At present, this benefit was available only to students till Class VIII, he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)