New Delhi: During the period 24th March to 30th June 2020, Food Corporation of India under Department of Food & Public Distribution moved a total of about 139 LMT food grains using nearly 5,000 rakes and nearly 14.7 LMT through 91,874 trucks across the country. For ensuring supply of allocated quantity for Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep Islands the food grains were moved though ships. Support of other Ministries such as Railways and Shipping augmented by Indian Air Force have played a crucial role in making these operations smooth and successful. The employees of the FCI, CWC, CRWC, State Warehouses and State/UT Civil Supplies Departments/Corporation have all worked in perfect coordination to make it all possible.
For the distribution of food grains to beneficiaries, a network of about 5.4 Lakh Fair Price Shops (FPSs) was utilised across the country, where all precautionary measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 protocol, such as social distancing, use of face masks, hand sanitizers, availability of soap and water to maintain hand hygiene, staggered distribution timings, frequent sanitization of ePoS devices, etc were followed in each State/UT, besides use of innovative practices for giving foodgrains to beneficiaries while ensuring social distancing at all times.
Despite challenges in biometric authentication of beneficiaries on ePoS devices, many States/UTs like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, etc. ensured biometric authentication of beneficiaries after following requisite safety protocol to ensure rightful targeting of beneficiaries.
Independent surveys conducted by MicroSave Consulting, Dalberg, etc., in various parts of the country, have shown very high level of satisfaction among the beneficiaries, with regards to the distribution of food grains under PM-GKAY. The programme implementation was rigorously monitored at every level including the Hon’ble Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, and all implementation issues of States/UTs were quickly resolved to ensure the success of the PM-GKAY.
Earlier, in March 2020, pursuant to the announcement of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) to ameliorate the hardships faced by the poor and needy due to economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, the Department had started the implementation of “Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY)” for a period of three months i.e. April, May and June 2020, so that the poor and vulnerable beneficiaries under NFSA do not suffer on account of the non-availability of food grains during the unprecedented time of crisis.
Under this special scheme, about 81 Crore NFSA beneficiaries covered under both categories of NFSA, namely Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Householders (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 entitlements.
Accordingly, on 30th March 2020, the Department had conveyed State/UT-wise total allocation of about 121 Lakh MT of foodgrains (about 40 LMT per month) to all States/UTs and FCI for distribution to all NFSA beneficiaries during the period of three months April-June’ 2020 (i.e. Phase-I of the scheme).
As per reports available from FCI, all States/UTs combined have lifted about 118 LMT (99%) of three-month foodgrains from FCI depots/central pool. Further, all States/UTs combined have reported a distribution of over 111.52 LMT (93.5%) of allocated foodgrains for the period April-June 2020 as per following details:
37.5 LMT (94%) each in the months of April and May 2020 covering about 75 crore beneficiaries in each month.
36.54 LMT (92%) in the month of June covering about 73 crore beneficiaries.