Acceding to demand from states, the Centre on Friday determined to distribute 8 million tonne (MT) of foodgrain freed from price to all of the 81 crore ration card holders underneath Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY) throughout Could-June.
Below the programme, which can price Rs 26,000 crore to the exchequer, along with their common entitlement of 5 kg per individual each month underneath the Nationwide Meals Safety Act (NFSA), a further equal amount of wheat and rice can be distributed to the beneficiaries.
Uttarakhand, Kerala and Rajasthan governments in addition to just a few distinguished political leaders had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in search of re-start of the PMGKAY scheme, which was an enormous success final 12 months with practically 100% offtake of the grains allotted. Union meals secretary Sudhanshu Pandey final week had hinted on the re-launch plan.
Throughout April-November final 12 months, 32.2 million tonne of foodgrain had been lifted by states underneath PMGJAY from the Central Pool inventory. The Centre spent Rs 1.49 lakh crore on this account, together with about Rs 12,000 crore on distribution of pulses and chana, underneath the scheme.
“The preliminary demand for the free foodgrain was to cowl the migrants who’ve returned to their native states following the lockdown and different Covid-related restrictions. If demand arises, pulses can also be thought-about for distribution and the two-months length can also be prolonged relying on the Covid state of affairs,” an official supply stated. Meals ministry officers additionally preserve that there’s adequate inventory of rice and wheat with the federal government.
The choice to distribute the grains freed from price got here after prime minister chaired a high-level assembly over video conferencing, on Covid-19 state of affairs with chief ministers of 11 states and union territories which have reported a spurt in Corona-positive circumstances not too long ago.
In accordance with Meals Company of India, the official reserves had 77.23 MT of meals grains as on April 1 comprising 49.93 MT of rice (together with 31.06 MT in type of unmilled paddy), 27.3 MT of wheat, up 4.6% from the year-ago interval. The present shares of meals grains with FCI are additionally greater than 3 times the buffer norm of 21.04 MT.
“Because the launch of the Central Pool shares underneath NFSA and different welfare schemes is about 61 MT per 12 months, the federal government wants to consider distributing the rice and wheat via another measures,” stated an skilled. There was suggestion by economists to monetise the grains to understand about Rs 50,000 crore instantly.
The Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) continues to be persevering with in some states the place personal sector and welfare establishments are provided meals grains at concessional charges. Final 12 months, the offtake underneath OMSS was round 3 MT.
The Centre needed to discontinue the Rs 3,100-crore scheme of free grains for an estimated 8 crore migrant employees underneath the Atmanirbhar Bharat scheme after completion two months because of lack of response from the states. Solely 2.13 crore migrant employees availed the good thing about free grains in Could-June. As many as 12 states had distributed lower than 1% meals grains whereas six states stated that they didn’t have any beneficiary underneath this scheme. Solely seven states and union territories, together with Rajasthan, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh had distributed 50% or extra of the allotted grains to migrant employees.