Antyodaya Anna Yojana {अन्‍त्‍योदय अन्‍न योजना}

Updated on Aug 07, 2020


In December 2000, the Government of India put a step forward to provide highly subsidized food to the poorest of the sparse population and provide them relief from hunger by launching a unique scheme called Antyodaya Anna Yojana. This plan was first developed by the then Union Food and Civil Supplies Minister, Shanta Kumar. This scheme was launched by the NDA Government and was first implemented in the Indian-state of Rajasthan. The project mainly aims to ensure food security for the poor households by supplying them food grains and other daily commodities at subsidized rates and alleviate the poverty level of India.

Salient Features

The following are the salient features of Antyodaya Anna Yojana:-

  • It is a part of the NFSA (National Food Security Act).
  • The poorest among the BPL families are recognized under the TPDS (Targeted Public Distribution System). 
  • The respective state rural development department identifies low-income families through BPL surveys.
  • The beneficiaries are provided with food grains at a highly subsidized rate: Rs.1 per kg coarse grains, Rs.2 per kg wheat, Rs.3 per kg for rice.
  • State /Union Territories are required to bear the distribution cost, margin to dealers and retailers and the transportation cost.
  • After the identification of beneficiaries, ration cards are issued to the Antyodaya families by the designated authority. The ration card not only serves as an identity proof but also indicates an individual’s economic status. 


The chief objective of Antyodaya Anna Yojana is to identify the most impoverished families among the BPL holders and supply them food grains at a highly subsidized rate.


  1. 35 kg of wheat and rice at the rates of Rs.3 per kg and Rs.2 per kg respectively from 1 April 2002 onwards (from 2000-2002 it was 25 kg) will be distributed.
  2. 1 kg of coarse grain at the rate of Rs.1 will be distributed.
  3. Now, 1 kg of sugar is also provided at the rates of Rs.18.50 to each Antyodaya family.


Monthly budgeting of food grains under Antyodaya Anna Yojana is around 8.51 lakhs. The Antyodaya Anna Yojana scheme is the brain-child of the Central Government. Under the system, the Central Government bears 90% of the total costs of providing the food grains. States / Union Territories hold the distribution cost, providing margin to the retailers as well as the dealers and the transportation cost.  

Households Covered

Antyodaya Anna Yojana was initially launched for one crore families. Under this scheme, coverage has been expanded thrice covering an additional 50 lakhs households headed by widows, lactating single mothers, critically ill people, mentally and physically disabled persons and senior citizens with no permanent social support. Hence, the total coverage under Antyodaya Anna Yojana was extended to 2.5 crores (i.e.,38% of BPL) AAY families.

Types of Beneficiaries

Rural Areas Beneficiaries

  • Households whose annual income is up to Rs.15000.
  • Senior Citizen pensioners
  • Small, weak and marginal farmers
  • Agricultural mazdoor without any lands
  • Physically and mentally disabled persons
  • Poverty-stricken widows
  • Rural artisans or artisans like potters, blacksmiths, tanners, weavers, carpenters and slum dwellers.

Urban Areas Beneficiaries

  • Households whose annual income is below Rs.15000.
  • Slum-dwellers
  • Daily wager like Rickshaw-pullers, construction labourers
  • Porters
  • Fruit and flower sellers
  • Housekeepers 
  • Households headed by widows, single mothers, mentally and physically disabled persons, senior citizens with no social support.
  • Rag pickers, cobblers, etc.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Households are descending below the poverty line.
  • The minimum annual income of Rs.15000 or below than that.
  • All the candidates should have their BPL cards. 
  • Handicap persons
  • Poor widows
  • Lactating and single mothers.
  • The family headed by senior citizens.
  • Tribal families in rural and mountain areas without any alternative income source.

Documents Required

As per the guidelines of the Central Government, the following documents are required for applying Antyodaya Anna Yojana:-

  • BPL Certificate
  • Income Certificate
  • Proof that the applicant initially does not possess any ration card.

Ration Card

As per the guidelines of the Antyodaya Anna Yojana plan, once the Government identifies AAY households, the families will be provided with a ration card which will be different from any other standard ration pass. The colour of the AAY ration card will be green.

States Covered 

The Antyodaya Anna Yojana scheme has been executed and running successfully in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Union Territories of Dadra & Nagar Haveli.

Official Website

Visit the official website to read more.

How to Apply for Antyodaya Anna Yojana?

In rural areas, the eligible candidates are required to approach the concerned Gram Sabha to apply for AAY scheme.

In urban areas, the applicants need to approach the Urban Development Department for an application form.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q. What are AAY ration cards?

AAY ration cards are issued to the poorest of low-income families. These ration cards are not only identity proof that you are a citizen of the country but also evidence of your financial status.

Q. Who are targeted beneficiaries under Antyodaya Anna Yojana?

Landless agricultural labourers, poor farmers, poor artisans and craftsmen, slum dwellers, widow or single mothers, daily labourers, senior citizens and tribal households are the targeted beneficiaries under Antyodaya Anna Yojana scheme.

Q. When was it launched?

Antyodaya Anna Yojana was developed by the then Union Food and Civil Supplies Minister, Shanta Kumar. The scheme was launched by the NDA government on 25 December 2000.

Q. Who invented the majority of the funds in the AAY scheme: the Central Government or the State Government?

The Central Government bears 90% of the funds by providing the food grains. The State/Union Territories only carries the distribution costs, providing margins to the dealers and the retailers and the transportation costs.

Q. What is the colour of the Antyodaya Anna Yojana ration card?

All the identified families under this scheme are provided with a green-coloured ration card. 

Q. What should be the minimum annual income of the household aspiring to be benefited by the Central Government’s AAY?

The minimum annual income of the household aspiring to be benefited by the Central Government’s Antyodaya Anna Yojana scheme should be not more than Rs.15000.


WRITTEN BYVarsha Verma

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