Additional food grains will be given for two months under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) through ration shops or public distribution system.
From May 1, the central government is preparing to make monthly distribution of free 5 kg additional food grains to 80 crore public distribution system (PDS) beneficiaries. The aim of the government is to help the poor in the second wave of the epidemic to overcome economic difficulties. Additional food grains will be given for two months under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) through ration shops or public distribution system. PMGKY is being re-implemented at the request of some state governments as last year saw good impact of the scheme. Last year, a sudden lockdown was imposed to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey said, FCI has prepared the entire machinery of its more than 2,000 depots so that stock is ready for distribution to the states. The FCI is in constant contact with the states. We will ensure supply from FCI to the state government and thereafter at fair price shops or ration shops.
80 lakh tons of grain will be distributed
He said that 80 lakh tonnes of food grains would be distributed in the next two months, which would put a financial burden of more than Rs 26,000 crore on the exchequer.
Pulses not included under PMGKY
Pandey said that this time pulses have not been included under PMGKAY. Last year it was kept in an exception and pulses with cereals were given free of cost. The National Food Security Act (NFSA) scheme is only about food grains.
The secretary said that if the government has enough stock to extend the PMGKY scheme from June onwards. He said, I can assure you, we have enough stock to deal with the situation. Since the purchase is going on, more stock is coming. We have enough stock.
Will not complete lockdown
Asked why the government is restricting the distribution of free food grains for only two months and whether it is a sign of a lockdown in the coming months, the secretary said, the Prime Minister clearly said It is said that there will not be a complete lockdown.
He said that the lockdown imposed in the year 2020 was to prepare the country with the resources to face the challenges of COVID-19.
He said, why only (free grain for two months)? This is the decision of the government. The government continuously reviews the situation. The government thought that it would be prudent that this time two months should be announced… I am sure that the government will constantly monitor the situation.
30 million tons of grain distribution in 8 months
The government spent 1.05 lakh crore rupees on the distribution of 30 million tonnes of food grains under PMGKAY during April-November 2020.
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