To give Relief to around 80 crore beneficiaries during Covid crisis, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved allocation of additional foodgrain to NFSA Beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (Phase III) for a period of two months — May and June, 2021.
The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its ex-post facto approval for allocation of additional foodgrains under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana Phase III- for another period of 2 months, May to June, 2021 at 5 kg per person per month free of cost for about 79.88 Crore beneficiaries covered under NFSA (AAY & PHH) including those covered under DBT.
The State/UT-wise allocation in terms of wheat/rice shall be decided by the Department of Food & Public Distribution on the basis of existing allocation ratio under NFSA.
Also, the Department of Food and Public Distribution may decide on the extension of the lifting/distribution period under PMGKAY as per operational requirements keeping in view partial and local lockdown situations, and also arising out of adverse weather conditions like monsoon, cyclones, supply chain and Covid-induced constraints etc.
The total outgo in terms of foodgrains may be approximately 80 lakh metric tonne.
28 States/UTs start lifting foodgrains for distribution
Twenty-eight States/UTs have started lifting foodgrains from the Food Corporation of India depots for distribution under PMGKAY-III and 5.88 LMT foodgrains supplied for further distribution to more than 80 crore beneficiaries under the NFSA scheme.
The government has allocated Rs 26,000 crore, free foodgrains to States/UTs for distribution to beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY-III)
The PMGKAY is to ameliorate the hardships faced by the poor and needy due to various disruptions caused by the resurgence of COVID-19 in the country. The Department of Food & Public Distribution has started implementation of the scheme for a period of 2 months i.e. May and June 2021, so that the poor and vulnerable beneficiaries under NFSA do not suffer on account of the non-availability of foodgrains during this time of crisis.
The Food Corporation of India has already positioned sufficient foodgrains in all States/UTs for successful implementation of the scheme and started supplying foodgrains to States/UTs.
Till May 3, 28 States/UTs have started lifting stocks from FCI depots. Lakshadweep has completely lifted the May-June allocation whereas Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have lifted 100 percent of the May allocation.
The rest of the States/UTs (Punjab, Chandigarh, Goa, MP, Manipur, Nagaland, Odisha & Puducherry) have also been sensitized to immediately start lifting the foodgrains and it is likely to be accelerated in the coming days.
The States/UTs have also been advised to encourage migrant NFSA beneficiaries to use the facility of portability under the One Nation One Ration Card plan.
The Centre will bear the entire cost of implementation of PMGKAY (May-June 2021) scheme.
Under this special scheme, about 80 crore NFSA beneficiaries covered under both categories of NFSA, namely Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Households (PHH), are being provided with an additional quota of free-of-cost foodgrains (Rice/Wheat) at a scale of 5 kg per person per month, over and above their regular monthly entitlement.