New Delhi: The Secretary, Department of Food & Public Distribution Shri Shudhanshu Pandey today briefed the media about the Department’s initiatives and achievements in the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY)and procurement of foodgrains during current marketing season.
While addressing the media, Shri Pandey said that the Centre is running the longest ever exercise of distributing free food grains to people during this pandemic time. He said that heights have been scaled this year in procurement of foodgrains. On this occasion, a presentation was shared with media by CMD, FCI about the status of wheat and rice procurement during current marketing season.
During the presentation Secretary, Shri Pandey informed that a record wheat procurement of 433.24 LMT was undertaken in RMS 2021-22, surpassing previous best of 389.93 LMT (RMS 20-21). He informed that the States of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and J&K recorded their best ever wheat procurement figure. He said that this year record 49.16 Lakh farmers have been benefitted so far, against 43.35 Lakh farmers last year. He further added that the One Nation, One MSP, One DBT scheme have been implemented across the country and an all-time high amount of Rs 84,369.19 crore transferred directly into farmer’s account across India.
While CMD FCI briefed about the rice procurement, Shri Pandey said that a record quantity of 862.01 LMT paddy has been procured in KMS 2020-21 upto 04thJuly, 2021 surpassing last year total procurement of 770.93 LMT paddy and if procurement continues and it may reach around 900 LMT. He said that this year Punjab, Bihar, Gujarat, Telangana, Jharkhand, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand & Uttar Pradesh surpassed their best ever procurement figure. He said all time high 127.15 Lakh farmers benefited so far against 124.59 Lakh farmers last year. He further informed alltime high, Rs 1,52,169.30 crores of MSP transferred directly into farmers’ account.
Shri Pandey further informed that under the PMGKAY scheme total 305 LMT foodgrains had been lifted during PMGKAY-I & II (Apr 2020 – Nov 2020). He further said that for PMGKAY-3 , total 78.26 LMT food grains have been lifted by the States/UTs for two months for May – June 2021. Briefing further he said total 198.78 LMT food grains have been allocated to States/UTs for next five months i.e. July to November 2021 under PMGKAY-IV. He said out of this 3.99 LMT food grains have been lifted by States/UTS so far.
He further said, FCI has moved highest ever foodgrains 594 LMT during 2020-21 in comparison to 389 LMT moved during 2019-20. He informed that record quantity of 945.92 LMT food grains issued by FCI from 25thMarch 2020 to 31st March, 2021 and during 01st April, 2021 to 30th June, 2021, a quantity of 208.05 LMT food grains have been issued to States/UTs. He informed, during normal period, monthly average offtake of food grains from Central Pool is around 50 LMT which increased to 77.40 LMT per month during 2020-21.
Secretary also briefed media about the implementation and progress of the PMGKAY 3-4 and ONORC Scheme. He informed that under PMGKAY 3 and 4 additional & free-of-cost foodgrains are being provided to around all 80 Crore National Food Security Act (NFSA) beneficiaries @5 Kg per person per month from May 2021 to November 2021.
He said to mitigate food security hardships of the poor & needy due to unprecedented economic disruptions caused by the pandemic, total 79.39 LMT (41.85 LMT Rice and 37.54 LMT Wheat) for May and June 2021 have been provided to beneficiaries under PMGKAY-3 and for phase-4 of PMGKAY, total 198.78 LMT (107.58 LMT Rice + 91.20 LMT Wheat) have been allocated to States/UTs for the month of July to November, 2021 over-and-above monthly subsidised NFSA foodgrains of 35 Kg per AAY household per month and 5 Kg per PHH person per month.
He informed that, as on 5th July, in PMGKAY-3, total 88.9% i.e 70.6 LMT food grains have already been distributed among beneficiaries
Briefing about the Phase-4 (July to November 2021) of PMGKAY further, he said State/UTs have been allocated 198.78 LMT foodgrains for 5-months by 24th June 2021. He said lifting of foodgrains have been started in 16 States/ UTs from FCI/Central pool and nearly 4 LMT foodgrains have been lifted by States up to 05thJuly, 2021. He informed that distribution of Phase-IV foodgrains has been commenced in 7 States/UTs and about 14,700 MT foodgrains have been distributed so far ( i.e. upto 5thJuly). He said Centre is daily monitoring and reviewing the lifting and distribution of PMGKAY foodgrains.
During the conference, it was informed that awareness and outreach initiatives have been undertaken to sensitise beneficiaries about entitlement of free foodgrain under PMGKAY, over and above regular NFSA foodgrains .This has been done through creatives for Posters/ Banners/ Hoardings –in Hindi & 10 regional languages. States/UTs have been asked to initiate awareness activities of PMGKAY and ONORC –through all FPSs, Godowns and other PDS/Government offices. Other central Ministries/Departments have also been requested on similar lines.
While briefing about the ONORC scheme, Shri Pandey informed that ONORC is now fully enabled in 32 States/UTs and remaining states are expected to enable ONORC in near future. He informed that an average 1.5 Crore monthly portability transactions are being recorded under ONORC.
Almost 1.4 Crore, 1.5 Crore and 1.35 Crore portability transactions during April, May and June 2021 respectively, delivered both NFSA and PMGKAY foodgrains in the tune of approx. Rs. 3,500 Crore in food subsidy.
Shri Pandey informed that a total of more than 29.3 Crore portability transactions have taken place all across these States/UTs since the inception of ONORC in August 2019, out of which almost 21.25 Crore portability transactions have been recorded during the COVID-19 period of April 2020 to June 2021 itself. Food subsidy delivered of Rs. 20,000 Crore through ONORC.
While answering a question from media about deletion of bogus ration cards by States/UTs, Shri Pandey said that the deletion and addition of Ration cards are States/ UTs prerogative and many States and UTs are doing good work by weeding out the bogus ration cards holder from the list of NFSA beneficiaries. He said this will ensure that entitled beneficiaries get the benefit of the food grains schemes. He further added that Department will very soon finalize a modal guideline based on suggestions received from States/UTs, for common list of factors for inclusion and exclusion of Ration Card beneficiaries after due deliberation with States and other Ministries and concerned Departments.