BPL category may get free medicines; PDS may exclude tax payers

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BPL category may get free medicines
New Delhi, Oct 12: The Centre is working on a solution to ensure that poor get benefits like free medicines and check-ups in speciality government hospitals on the basis of their BPL ration cards while eliminating income tax payers and top officials from the ambit of PDS.

The new moves are aimed at better targeting of subsidies which the government wants should reach the needy and the deserving.

"This issue is under consideration. We are trying to find some workable solution to ensure Below Poverty Line (BPL) category people can avail other facilities like free medicines with ease on the basis of a ration card," says Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan.

He told PTI in an interview that the poor are facing problems, especially in those states where the new food law has been implemented.

The Minister was asked whether the government will take steps to ensure that new ration card serves as an ID card for other benefits. Meanwhile, the government is working on plans to take out income tax payers and ranking officials in the government out of the ambit of Public Distribution System (PDS).

The Modi government has asked states to try such a scheme and Paswan will be discussing the issue with them.

It has also given enough signals that the much-touted welfare food security programme of the UPA government will not be shelved.

PTI

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