New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan, said on Friday that several states and UTs have already distributed 100 per cent quota of food grains for May under the PMGKAY but Delhi and West Bengal were yet to start the distribution.

However, Delhi has distributed 96 per cent of its quota of food grains for April under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) to the Public Distribution System (PDS) beneficiaries as against West Bengal’s 93 per cent.

Paswan held a videoconference here to brief the media about the initiatives and reforms undertaken by his Ministry in the last one year.

In order to help the poor amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the central government brought about a scheme to distribute 5 kg foodgrain-rice or wheat to every beneficiary under the PDS and one kg dal to every ration card holder family under the PMGKAY.

Paswan said that his Ministry’s main focus amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown is to provide food grains and pulses to all PDS and non-PDS card holders, migrant labourers and even those not covered under any food grain scheme of the central or the state governments.

He said that sufficient quantity of food grains is available in the country’s buffer stock.

The Minister said that the distribution of food grains by states and Union Territories under the PMGKAY, Atmanirbhar Bharat Package, National Food Security Act and other schemes is satisfactory, barring a few states.

Under the PMGKAY, for the next 3 months, 104.4 LMT rice and 15.6 LMT wheat is required, of which 83.38 LMT rice and 12.42 LMT wheat have been lifted by various states/UTs. A total of 95.80 LMT has been lifted.

As regards pulses, the total requirement for the next three months is 5.87 LMT. So far, 4.62 LMT pulses have been dispatched while 3.64 LMT pulses have reached states/UTs and 71,738 MT delivered. As of May 20, 1.64 LMT pulses have been distributed by the states/UTs.

Paswan said that states/UTs have already lifted 2.06 LMT food grains under Atmanirbhar Bharat Package.The distribution has been started and will be completed on schedule.

He said that the identification of migrants/stranded migrants under Atmanirbhar Bharat scheme may be done by the states/UTs through their own mechanisms and Aadhaar Cards of persons, if available, may also be leveraged to ascertain that person is not covered under NFSA or state PDS schemes.

States/UTs may provide the benefit of this scheme to any poor/needy migrant/stranded migrant who does not have access to food and is not covered under NFSA/state PDS schemes, he added.

The Minister said that as of May 28, the Food Corporation of India has 272.29 LMT rice and 479.40 LMT wheat. Hence, a total of 751.69 LMT food grain stock is available (excluding ongoing purchase of wheat and paddy, which have not yet reached the godowns).

Paswan said that national portability of NFSA ration cards holders under ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ scheme had been introduced in 17 states/UTs. At present, seamless facility is available in a single national cluster of 17 states.

He said that the Ministry aims to achieve 100 per cent seeding of ration cards with Aadhaar under the ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ scheme by January 2021.

–IANS

pj/tsb

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