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States lift 15.3 lakh ton foodgrains so far for free distribution during July-Nov

New Delhi,  States have lifted 15.30 lakh tonnes of foodgrains so far for free distribution under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY).

Under this scheme, an additional foodgrain quota of 5 kg per person per month is being provided free of cost to around 80 crore beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). The additional foodgrains will be provided till November.

This additional quota is over and above the distribution of 5 kg food grains per person every month at highly subsidised rates of Rs 1-3 per kg via ration shops to beneficiaries covered under the NFSA.

“The Government of India is running the longest ever exercise of distributing free food grains to the people during COVID-19 pandemic time to ensure food security,” an official statement said.

The Central Government has extended the PMGKAY for five months i.e. July-November 2021 and further allocation of 198.79 LMT food grains has been made under PMGKAY-IV (July-November 2021), it added.

Under the PMGKAY-IV (July-November 2021), lifting has been started by 31 States and 15.30 lakh tonnes food grains have been lifted upto 12th July, 2021.

Food Corporation of India (FCI), the nodal agency for procurement and distribution of foodgrains, has already positioned adequate stocks in all States/UTs for successful implementation of PMGKAY-IV.

“At present, 583 lakh tonnes of wheat and 298 lakh tonnes of rice (Total 881 lakh tonnes food grains) are available under the Central Pool,” the statement said.

Under PMGKAY-III (May-June 2021), FCI supplied 78.26 lakh tonnes of free food grains to all 36 States/ UTs.

The Centre will spend Rs 93,869 crore this year to provide 5 kg of foodgrains per month free of cost to over 80 crore people during May-November for providing relief to the poor amid the second wave of COVID-19.

The Centre spent Rs 1,33,972 crore last financial year on this scheme. The total financial implication is estimated at Rs 2,27,841 crore for PMGKAY. PTI