I-Day freebies for BPL families, students in Karnataka

Bengaluru: Marking the 70th year of Independence Day, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday announced an additional kilogram of free rice to below poverty line (BPL) families from November 1.

He also announced extension of free milk supply to students in state-run schools to five days from three days from September 1.

“Under Anna Bhagya Yojana (rice scheme), one more kg will be given to BPL families which are entitled to 4 kg rice and 1 kg ragi (millet) or wheat per person per month free of cost from November 1, when we celebrate the diamond jubilee (60 years) of the state’s formation in 1956,” Siddaramaiah said in a statement here.

Around 1.09 crore BPL families are beneficiaries of the free foodgrains across the state.

In the state’s northern region where wheat and jowar are staple food, BPL families are given 4 kg wheat and 1 kg rice per person per month with no upper limit. They will be entitled to one more kg of wheat or ragi.

The BPL card holders are also eligible for 1 kg sugar at Rs 13.50, palm oil at Rs 25 per litre and iodised salt at Rs 2 per kg, which are subsidised by the state government.

Under Ksheera Bhagya Yojana (nutritious milk scheme), about 10 million boys and girls reading in state-run schools up to Class 10 and ‘anganwadis’ will be given a glass (200 ml) of milk from Monday to Friday instead of Monday to Wednesday from September 1 to ensure their full attendance every week.

The state government also plans to soon supply tur dal (green gram) at a subsidised rate to BPL ration card holders, as it is sold at Rs 150-180 per kg in the retail market.

“Free Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) hot spots will be provided in major cities and Wi-Fi facilities at 5,600 gram panchayats (local bodies) across the state from November 1 to provide seamless connectivity and speed up the ‘Digital India’ initiative,” the statement added.