COVID: Government allocates 199 lakh tonnes of foodgrains for free distribution during July-November
The Centre has allocated 199 lakh tonnes of foodgrains for free distribution during the July-November period of this year to provide relief to the poor during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The central government announced the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) last year to ameliorate the hardships faced by the poor due to the economic disruption caused by the pandemic, an official statement said.
After the outbreak of the second wave, the scheme was reintroduced this year, initially for May-June and then later extended till November.
Under the scheme, the Centre is providing 5 kg of foodgrains per month per person free of cost to over 80 crore beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act.
The Centre spent Rs 1,33,972 crore last year to implement the PMGKAY programme and will incur an expenditure of another Rs 93,869 crore this year, taking the total cost to the exchequer to a whopping Rs 2,27,841 crore.
With the extension of the scheme by five months, the food ministry has made a further allocation of 198.78 lakh tonnes of foodgrains under PMGKAY-IV (July-November 2021).
Representational Image | Credit: Viktor Smith
Under PMGKAY-IV, the lifting of foodgrains has been started by eight states -- Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Odisha, Telangana, and Tripura, and 1.06 lakh tonnes has been lifted till June 28, 2021.
Under PMGKAY-III (May-June 2021), the Food Corporation of India supplied 77.42 lakh tonnes of free foodgrains to all 36 states/ union territories.
As many as 23 states/ UTs have lifted full allocation for May-June 2021.
These include Andhra Pradesh, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, and West Bengal.
The last date of lifting is June 30, 2021.
At present, 591 lakh tonnes of wheat and 295 lakh tonnes of rice (total 886 lakh tonnes of foodgrains) are available under the central pool.