The Scheme is targeted to cover, 20% (13.762 Lakh) of persons eligible to receive pension under NOAPS.The Central assistance under the Annapurna Scheme is, thus, provided to the beneficiaries on fulfilling the following criteria :
1. The age of the applicant ( male or female) should be 65 years or above.
2. The applicant must be a destitute in the sense of having little or no regular means of substance from his/her own source of income or through financial support from family members or other sources. In order to determine destitution , the criteria, if any, in force in the States/UTs may also be followed.
3. The applicant should not be in receipt of pension under the NOAPSor State Pension Scheme.
4. The beneficiaries are given 10 Kg. of foodgrains per month free of cost.
Funds are currently released to the State Departments of Food & Civil Supplies (F&CS;) in one instalment . This Department then ties up with the Food Corporation of India (FCI), to release foodgrains districtwise on payment of the cost of Foodgrains at CIP rates directly to the FCI offices. Initially the foodgrains were supplied at economic cost ( Rs.9.80 per Kg.). However, w.e.f. 1.11.2000, foodgrains are supplied at the CIP rates for BPL families( Rs.4.90 per Kg.) The beneficiaries under the scheme are selected in the Gram Sabhas and the Gram Panchayat distribute the entitlement cards to the beneficiaries.