Days after stoking a controversy, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Tuesday appeared in damage control mode saying her remarks that Rs600 were enough to buy a month's supply of foodgrains for a family of five was meant to suggest that the amount would help them get basic rations.
"We are providing Rs600 per month as direct cash transfer to female head of the family. The basis for this is that you can get rice, wheat, sugar with the money for a family in which there are five-six members," she said at a function.
"We never said that you can buy everything with this Rs600. It is a kind of a support for the families. You can buy anything with the money. If someone wants to buy medicine she can buy it with the assistance. If a women wants to buy milk for her children, she can buy it," Dikshit said.
In her address at the launch of 'Dilli Anna Shri Yojna' two weeks back, Dikshit had said that Rs600 per month could provide for basic needs like pulses and rice for a family of five. The BJP had slammed her for the comment.
The chief minister had later said that her comments were taken out of context as she was explaining about broad contours of the scheme under which a monthly cash subsidy of Rs600 will be transferred directly into Aadhaar-linked bank account of the senior-most female member of two lakh poor families.
Dikshit today said the Centre had put the upper limit of the BPL households in respect of Delhi at 4.09 lakh and the new scheme was launched to provide some sort of support to those people who are not getting subsidised food due to the cap.
Referring to per capita income, the chief minister said as per figures, Delhi does not have poor people as "almost all families in the city have annual income of Rs1.86 lakh."
As per official figures, Delhi has a total of 7.5 lakh BPL families out of which only 4.09 lakh are eligible to get ration under public distribution system.