New Delhi: Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan held a Video Conference today to brief the media about the initiatives and reforms undertaken by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution during the last one year.While addressing the media, Shri Paswan said at the time of COVID-19 pandemic the main focus of the Ministry is to provide food grains and pulses to all PDS and Non-PDS card holders, migrant labourers and those who are not covered under anyfood grain scheme of the Central or the State Governments.He informed that the Ministry is regularly communicating with State Food Ministers and Secretaries, so that no State/UTfaces any hurdle in lifting of food grains. He informed that sufficient quantity of food grains is available in buffer stock. He said the distribution of food grains by States and UTs under PMGKAY, Atma Nirbhar Bharat Package, NFSA and other schemes is satisfactory barring few States. He further added that the Ministry is aiming to achieve 100% seeding of ration cards with Aadhar underOne Nation One Ration Card scheme by January 2021.
While addressing the media, the Minister informed that as on 28.5.2020, FCI currently has 272.29 LMT rice and 479.40 LMT wheat. Hence, a total of 751.69 LMT food grain stock is available (excluding the ongoingpurchase of wheat and paddy, which have not yet reached the godown).
He said that since the lockdown was announced on 24th March, 2020, about 98.84 LMT food grains have been lifted and transported through 3530 rail rakes. Apart from the rail route, transportation was also done through roads and waterways. A total of 201.44 LMT has been transported. 12,000 MT food grains was transported through 11 ships. Total 9.61 LMT food grains have been transported to the North-Eastern States.
Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana
Under the PMGKAY, for next 3 months a total of 104.4 LMT rice and 15.6 LMT wheat is required of which 83.38 LMT rice and 12.42 LMT wheat have been lifted by various States and UTs. A total of 95.80 LMT has been lifted.
As regards Pulses, the total requirement for the next three months is 5.87 LMT. So far, 4.62 LMT pulses have been dispatched while 3.64 LMT Pulses have reached the States/UTs and 71,738 MT has been delivered. As on 20.5.2020, 1.64 LMT pulses have been distributed by the States/UTs. A total of 12.81 LMT pulses ( (Toor-5.88 LMT, Moong-1.62 LMT, Urad-2.42 LMT, BengalGram-2.42 LMT and Masur-0.47 LMT) is available in the buffer stock as on 20 May 2020.
Atma Nirbhar Bharat
Shri Paswan said that States/UTs have already lifted 2.06 LMT food grains under Atma Nirbhar Bharat package.The distribution has been started and shall be completed on schedule.
He said that the identification of migrants/stranded migrants under Atma Nirbhar Bharat scheme may be done by the State/UT Governments through own mechanisms and, Aadhar of persons, if available may also be leveraged to ascertain that person is not covered under NFSA or State PDS scheme. States/UTs may provide the benefit of this scheme to any poor/needy migrant/stranded migrant who does not have access to food and is not covered under NFSA/State PDS schemes.
One Nation One Ration Card
Shri Paswan said that the introduced national portability of NFSA ration cards holders under“One Nation One Ration Card” plan in 17 States/UTs.At present, seamless facility is available in a single national cluster of 17 States. He said we are targeting to achieve 100% the Aadhar seeding by January 2021.
Boosting Ethanol production to tackle COVID19 spread
He said that the Government has also allowed production of ethanol from sugar and sugar syrup for current ethanol supply year 2019-20 (December,2019 – November,2020) and has fixed the remunerative ex-mill price of ethanol derived from C-heavy molasses @ Rs. 43.75/litre; from B-heavy molasses @ Rs. 54.27/ litre and @ Rs. 59.48/litre for the ethanol derived from sugarcane juice/ sugar/ sugar syrup.Due to the concerted efforts of Department of Food & Public Distribution in coordination with State Governments/ UT Administrations, necessary permissions on account of licensing and storage of ethyl alcohol/ethanol were accorded to the sugar mills/distilleries/sanitizer industry for making hand sanitizers. As a result, 165 distilleries and 962 independent manufacturers were given licenses to produce hand-sanitizers across the country, which has resulted in production of 87,20,262litres of hand-sanitizers (as on 11.5.2020).
Patent has been granted to National Sugar Institute (NSI) Kanpur for a new process on Sugarcane Juice Clarification to obtain Sulphur-less sugar. Further, an application has been filed for grant of patent on Fortified Amorphous Sugar with Co-crystallization.
Fortification of Rice
Informing about Centrally Sponsored Pilot Scheme on “Fortification of Rice and its Distribution under Public Distribution System, Shri Paswan said thatMaharashtra & Gujarat have started distributing of fortified rice under the Pilot Scheme from February, 2020.He further said that the guideline on Welfare Institutions and Hostels Scheme has been revised to include hostels aided /sponsored by the States/UTs in its scope. Now, allocation of foodgrain at BPL rates can be done to meet the requirement of Government owned and aided/sponsored welfare institutions such as beggar homes, nariniketans and other similar welfare institutions and of all the students of the Government owned aided/sponsored hostels having 2/3rd residents belonging to SC/ST/OBC category.
CWC achieves highest turnover
Shri Paswan said that the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) has achieved highest ever turnover of about Rs 1710 crore during 2019-20. CWC has declared interim dividend for the year 2019-20 @95.53% of its paidup capital as against 72.20% last year.Government of India has received Rs 35.77 crores out of the total dividend of Rs 64.98 crore.