The Ministry of Rural Development launched the scheme in 2000-01. Indigent senior citizens of 65 years of age or above who are eligible for old age pension under the National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS) but are not getting the pension, are covered. 10 kgs.offoodgrains per person per month are supplied free of cost under the scheme.
From 2002-03, it has been transferred to State Plan along with the National Social Assistance Programme comprising the National Old Age Pension Scheme and the National Family Benefit Scheme. The implementation of the Scheme at the State level rests with the respective States / UTs.