States ask centre to restart free foodgrains scheme throughout Covid-19

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Following the second wave of Covid-19, just a few state governments together with Rajasthan, Kerala and Uttrakhand have requested the centre to restart distribution of free meals grains to 810 million poor folks beneath the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY), which was launched final yr throughout the first wave of the pandemic. Below the scheme, the centre distributed 5 kg rice or wheat per particular person and one kg of pulses per household coated beneath the the Nationwide Meals Safety Act from April- November 2020.

“We will’t say something at this level of time. However beneath the present circumstances, the outlook of central authorities is sort of liberal and optimistic on this challenge,” mentioned meals and public distribution secretary Sudhanshu Pandey.

The federal government final yr had allotted 32.2 million tonnes of meals grains freed from value on the monetary value of Rs 1.22 lakh crore along with Rs 12,000 crore spent for the distribution of pulses and chana beneath PMGKAY scheme.

Pandey mentioned that the central authorities continues to supply states meals grains at subsidised charges for his or her welfare programmes.

“We’re heading in the direction of a file procurement of wheat this yr at 42.73 million tonnes. Up to now we now have bought 6.47 million tonnes inside a month of the beginning of procurement train. We have now disbursed greater than Rs 12,800 crore instantly in farmers’ financial institution accounts. Final yr because of Covid-19, solely 60 tonnes of wheat was procured until date,” he mentioned.

Pandey mentioned that the direct profit switch (DBT) into farmers’ accounts has taken off nicely in Punjab, which has been routing the cash towards procurement by way of arhtiyas.

“With DBT beginning efficiently in Punjab, we will say that now each farmer within the nation is getting cash instantly in checking account. Even arhtiyas in Punjab, who get 2.5% fee towards companies are getting their dues instantly of their accounts over and above the minimal help worth (MSP) farmers are receiving. We’re getting good help from state authorities in addition to arhtiyas,” Pandey mentioned.

He mentioned that the federal government is planning for correct storage for the file procurement of wheat and rice in order that the shelf lifetime of the grain prolongs together with the standard.

“We have now stopped creating momentary storage constructions like coated and plinth (CAP) for wheat. We are actually planning to modernise our storage infrastructure. You will note extra metal silos as we goal to create a storage capability of 10 million tonnes. In the meantime, we’re increasing our current storage of 81.6 million tonnes by 20% to accommodate additional grains,” he mentioned.



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