New Delhi: The Modi Government is sensitive to the plight of the migrant labourers and the poor and the Ministry of Food and Consumer Affairs is doing everything possible to ensure that no one is hungry. This was stated by Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Shri Ram Vilas Paswan during a media interaction via video conference in Krishi Bhawan today. The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi announced a special economic and comprehensive package of Rs 20 lakh crore on 12 May 2020. As part of the Economic Measures (Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan) the Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman announced many short and long term measures for supporting the poor including migrant workers.This includes distribution of free food grains and pulses to 8crore migrant labourerswho arenot covered under National Food Security Act or State Scheme PDS Cards @ 5 kg per person per month free of cost for two months (May & June, 2020).
The Minister of Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan interacted with the Press through video conference in New Delhi today.
Shri Paswan said that to mitigate plight of migrants during this precarious COVID-19 situation and also ensure availability of food grains to them and their families, 8 LMT of food grains has been allocated to States / UTs and the Government of India will bear the entire cost on account of such distribution including transportation within the State, dealers’ margin etc.
He further said that the State/UT wise allocation orders have been issued. Allocation has been made taking 10% of the total number of beneficiaries covered under NFSA in a particular State/UT. He said that identification of beneficiaries and distribution of food grains to such beneficiaries will be the responsibility of respective State / UT Government.
Shri Paswan informed that the States / UTs have been requested to put in place a mechanism to share their details after fully distributing allocated food grains, with the Dept of Food and Public Distribution, by and large on the pattern adopted in the case of PMGKAY. The States / UTs may report the distribution details with leftover/ balance food grain, if any, to this Department not later than 15 July, 2020. Shri Paswan said that he will convene a meeting with all State/UT Food Ministers next week to review the distribution of food grains.
Further, Shri Paswan said that to ensure National Portability of ration card under ‘One Nation One Card’ Scheme, the department has started Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IM-PDS). He further informed that as on 1st May 2020 beneficiaries of 17 states/UTs have onboarded the ‘One Nation One Card’ scheme. He said 3 more states/UTs will be added by June 2020 and by August, 2020 total 23 states/UT will be part of this scheme. He said the DoFPD is targeting to implement this plan in all State/UTs by March 2021. He said that in the time of COVID-19 Pandemic, the migrant labourers will benefit most with ONOC scheme, as PDS beneficiaries can draw their ration at any FPS shop with biometric verification anywhere across the ‘One Nation One Card’ covered states/UTs.