New Delhi : PMGKAY (Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana) emerged as game changer scheme of Centre to ensure food security to vulnerable section of population in Covid times in last one year.
During the last one year, the Department of Food and Public Distribution under Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has been continuously working towards providing free ration to poor as a response to COVID-19 under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY).
An expenditure of nearly Rs. 2.60 lakh Crore in PMGKAY Phase I- V is expected to incurred in total on the unique food security scheme in which free food grains are being given to almost 80 crore people over and above the distribution under NFSA.
Several key initiatives of the Department of Food and Public Distribution are:
In 2021, owing to the on-going severe Covid-19 pandemic across the country and the economic disruptions in its wake, the Hon’ble Prime Minister had announced to implement the “Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana” (PM-GKAY) for a period of two months i.e., May 2021 and April 2021 at an estimated expenditure of upto Rs. 26,602 Crore, on the same lines as PMGKAY 2020. A total allocation of over 79 LMT of food grains was allocated for the purpose. Around 80 crore NFSA beneficiaries had received 5 Kg additional free-of-cost foodgrains (wheat or rice) under the scheme.
On a review of the continuing COVID 19 situation in the country and to help the poor and the needy during the crisis, Hon’ble Prime Minister, in his address to the Nation on 07.06.2021, announced the extension of the PMGKAY (2021) Scheme for a further period of five months up to November,2021. Accordingly, the scheme was extended for five more months i.e. July to November, 2021 at an estimated expenditure of up to Rs. 67266.44 Crore. A total of about 198.78 LMT of food grains were allocated for the purpose. Around 80 crore NFSA beneficiaries had received 5 Kg additional free-of-cost food grains (wheat or rice) for the months of July to November, 2021, under the scheme.
In view of the prevailing situation in the country due to Covid-19, the scheme has been further extended for further period of four months i.e. from December, 2021 to March, 2022. Accordingly, a total allocation of about 163 LMT of food grains will be allocated to the States for free of cost distribution to beneficiaries at an estimated expenditure of up to Rs. 53344.52 Crore.
Special emphasis is laid on providing nutritional ration through another scheme. ‘Fortification of Rice’. The PM of India in his address on the 75th Independence Day (15th August, 2021) made an announcement on Fortification of Rice inter-alia. :-
“Providing nutrition to every poor person of the country is also a priority of this government. Malnutrition and lack of essential nutrients in poor women and poor children poses major obstacles in their development. In view of this, it has been decided that the government will fortify the rice given to the poor under its various schemes. Will give rice fortified with nutrition to the poor. Be it the rice available at the ration shop, the rice provided to the children in the mid-day meal, or the rice available through every scheme, it shall be fortified by the year 2024”.
In order to address anaemia and micro-nutrient deficiency in the country, Government of India approved Centrally Sponsored Pilot Scheme on “Fortification of Rice & its Distribution under Public Distribution System” for a period of 3 years beginning in 2019-20. Fifteen State Governments i.e Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand & Madhya Pradesh have consented and identified their respective Districts (Preferably 1 District Per State) for implementation of the Pilot Scheme. Out of these, 11 States- Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand have started the distribution of fortified rice under pilot scheme.
This Department in association with Ministry of Women & Child Development and Department of School Education & Literacy has started distribution of Fortified Rice under ICDS and PM Poshan (erstwhile Mid-Day Meal scheme) Schemes across the country during this year in an effort to scale up the distribution of fortified rice in the country to help in fighting deficiency of micronutrients like Iron, Folic Acid and Vitamin B-12. FCI has procured nearly 18.89 LMT of Fortified rice so far all over the country to distribute under ICDS/MDM in the States/UTs.
Meanwhile various Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) reforms are done like:
- 100% digitized ration cards/beneficiaries’ data under NFSA in all States/UTs. Details of almost 23.5 Crore ration Cards covering nearly 80 Crore beneficiaries are available on transparency portals of States/UTs.
- More than 93% Aadhaar seeding of ration cards (at least one member), whereas nearly 90% beneficiaries are also Aadhaar seeded at the national level.
- More than 95% (5.09 Lakh of total 5.33 Lakh) Fair Price Shops (FPSs) in the country are automated using electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) devices for transparent and ensured distribution of subsidized food grains to beneficiaries.
- Nationally, achieved nearly 88%biometrically/Aadhaar authenticated distribution of monthly allocated food grains to States/UTs under NFSA.
Further, due to use of technology in TPDS operations since 2013, i.e. digitization of ration cards/beneficiary databases, Aadhaar seeding, de-duplication of databases, detection of ineligible, inactive/silent ration cards (may be due to death/migration of beneficiaries) and during the run-up to and implementation of NFSA, a total of about 4.74 Crore ration cards have been weeded out by States/UTs during the period 2013 to 2021 (till date), enabling the States/UTs to better utilise their respective coverage for achieving rightful targeting of eligible beneficiaries.
- Portability of Ration Cards: The portability of ration cards, which was initially started as interState portability in 8 States in August 2019, was evolved into seamless national portability of ration cards in 12 States by January 2020. Since then, up to November 2021, the national portability under One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) plan is progressively enabled in a total of 34 States/UTs covering nearly 75 Crore beneficiaries (about 94.3% NFSA population) to lift their foodgrains from any Fair Price Shop (FPS) of choice in these States/UTs using their same/existing ration card. 2 more States of Assam and Chhattisgarh are expected to be integrated with the national ONORC cluster shortly.
- Food security response to COVID-19 pandemic: During COVID-19 crisis, the technology driven TPDS operations in the country swiftly scaled-up to double the monthly distribution of foodgrains to about all 80 Crore beneficiaries. During the period May to December 2021, the Department had allocated nearly 665 Lakh MT of foodgrains (about 347LMT under normal monthlyNFSA and318LMT under the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana)
- Under PM-GKAY, additional free-of-cost foodgrains at a scale of 5 Kg/person/month were also distributed to all NFSA beneficiaries for a period of 8 months (May to December 2021).
- Till November 2021, 94% (about 261LMT of 278LMT till November 2021) foodgrains are distributed under the scheme. Further, distribution for December 2021 is under progress.
The Food Corporation of India (FCI) has made efforts facilitating smooth movement of foodgrains
- During 2021 (i.e. from January, 2021 upto 30.11.2021), 258 containerized rakes moved with approx. freight savings of Rs. 433 lakhs.
- FCI is also undertaking multi-modal transportation of rice involving coastal shipping and road movement from designated depots of Andhra Pradesh to designated depots in Kerala. During 2021 (i.e. from January, 2021 upto November, 2021) 40551 MT was moved based on cost economics in comparison to the conventional mode of transportation.
- FCI has moved heavy quantity of foodgrains despite inconveniences associated with the COVID-19 pandemic to reach foodgrains to support the needy. Total 29230 rakes of foodgrains with approximate quantity of 818.43 LMT have been loaded from 24.03.2020 to 12.12.2021.
The procurement of foodgrains is also progressed smoothly in 2021-22 seasons
- During KMS 2021-22, a quantity of 396.77 LMTs of paddy (265.96 LMT in terms of rice) has been procured upto 19.12.2021 during Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2021-22 benefiting 38.40 Lac farmers with MSP value of Rs. 77,766.76 crore.
- During RMS 2021-22, a quantity of 433.44 LMT of Wheat was procured (which is all time high) in Marketing Season RMS 2021-22 benefiting 49.20 Lac farmers with MSP value of Rs. 85,603.57 crore.
Similarly, procurement of coarse grains also progressed smoothly
- During KMS 2020-21(Rabi) and KMS 2021-22, this Department approved the procurement plan of various State Governments for procurement of coarse grains as per extant guidelines dated-21.03.2014/26.12.2014 which are revised vide letter dated-07.12.2021 details of which are as follows:
Statement showing the Approved Quantity of coarse grains KMS 2021-22
As on 13.12.2021
Figures in Metric Tonne (MT)
KMS 2020-21 (Rabi)
|S. No.||State||Commodity||Approved Quantity|
- Revised Guidelines for procurement, allocation, distribution and disposal of coarse grains: To obviate difficulties being faced by some States in procurement/distribution of coarse grains and to increase procurement of coarse grain under Central Pool, the guidelines were revised. The highlights are as follows:
- Procurement and distribution period of Jowar and Ragi has been increased to 9 & 10 months respectively from the earlier period of 6 months only. This would increase procurement and consumption of these commodities as the State would have more time to distribute these commodities in TPDS/OWS.
- Provision of inter-state transportation of surplus coarse grains through Food Corporation of India (FCI) is incorporated to cater for advance demand placed by consuming state before the start of procurement.
- New guidelines would increase procurement/consumption of coarse grains through Public Distribution System (PDS). As these crops are normally grown on marginal and un-irrigated land, therefore, enhanced cropping of these would encourage sustainable agriculture and crop diversification. With the increased procurement, number of farmers benefitting from the procurement of these crops, would also increase.
- Marginal and poor farmers who are also PDS beneficiaries will gain due to procurement and then distribution of millets at Rs.1 per kg. Region specific coarse grains can be distributed for local consumption saving transportation cost of wheat/rice.
- Coarse grains are highly nutritive, non-acid-forming, gluten-free and having dietary properties. Besides, to strengthen our fight against malnutrition in children and adolescents, consumption of coarse grains would help to foster immunity and health.
Besides, steps were taken through Open Market Sale Scheme (Domestic)
- Through Open Market Sale Scheme (Domestic) (OMSS (D)) 2021-22, a total quantity of 60.08 Lakh MT of wheat and 7.87 Lakh MT of rice have been sold in the open market till 1st tender of December, 2021 i.e. 02.012.2021.
- Under OMSS (D) 2020-21 policy, a sub scheme for supply of Foodgrains to all the charitable/ non- governmental organizations etc. engaged in relief/running community kitchens for migrant labours/vulnerable groups due to the lock down condition, was introduced w.e.f. 08.04.2020.
- Special dispensation was initially upto June, 2020 and it was extended at the same rate, terms and conditions for the rest of the year 2020-21. Under this dispensation, in the year 2020-21,1126 organizations have lifted 10422 MT of rice and 230 organizations have lifted 1,246 MT of till 25.03.2021. Further, in view of resurgence of COVID pandemic, the said scheme/special dispensation is further extended till 31st March 2022 or till further order, whichever is later, at the same rate, terms and conditions vide this Department letter dated 30.04.2021.
- During current FY 2021-22, 34 organizations have lifted 847 MT of rice and 6 organizations have lifted 10 MT of wheat as on 08.12.2021.”
Food Aid was also provided to countries on Humanitarian ground.
- Supply of 1000 MT of non-basmati rice to Madagascar as humanitarian assistance
- Supply of 1000 MT of non-basmati rice to Comoros as humanitarian assistance
Various measures were taken to stabilize sugar sector and sugar prices:
Excess production during last three sugar seasons 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21 has been continuously depressing the ex-mill price of sugar. This has adversely affected the realization on sale of sugar resulting in accumulation of cane price arrears of farmers for these sugar seasons. In order to maintain demand supply balance, to stabilize sugar prices and to improve liquidity position of sugar mills thereby enabling them to clear cane price dues of farmers, the Government took following measures for sugar season 2020-21 (October to September) in addition to the ongoing measures taken during previous sugar seasons:
- Government vide notification dated 29.12.2020 notified scheme for providing assistance to sugar mills for expenses on export of 60 LMT of sugar to the extent of Maximum Admissible Export Quantity (MAEQ) for sugar season 2020-21. Under the scheme, Government has provided a lump sum assistance @ Rs 6000/MT (which was reduced to Rs.4000/LMT w.e.f. 20.05.2021) to sugar mills to facilitate export in sugar season 2020-21 for which an estimated expenditure of Rs 3500 Cr would be borne by Govt. Due to this, against the total 60 LMT of sugar; 70 LMT of sugar was exported in sugar season 2020-21, highest for any season.
- The Government has allowed production of ethanol from sugar/sugar syrup in addition to sugarcane juice. Further with a view to support sugar sector and in the interest of sugarcane farmers, the Government has fixed the remunerative ex-mill price of ethanol derived from C- heavy molasses @Rs.46.66/litre; from B-heavy molasses @ R.59.08/litre and @Rs.63.45/litre for the ethanol derived from sugarcane juice/sugar/sugar syrup for ethanol supply year 2021-22 (December, 2021 – November, 2022). To increase production of fuel grade ethanol, Government. is also encouraging distilleries to produce ethanol from maize & rice available with FCI.
As a result of measures taken by Government as on 09.12.2021, about Rs.88889 crore have been paid to farmers out of total cane price dues of about Rs.92880 crore for sugar season 2020-21, thus, 95% cane dues have been cleared.
- Production of Hand-sanitizer:
- Keeping in view the crucial role of sanitizer in the fight against COVID-19 and on the recommendation of CoS, DFPD coordinated with industry and State Governments to encourage the industry to produce hand sanitizer.
- Prior to Covid-19, the annual sale of hand sanitizers was only about 10 lakh litre per annum and was mainly used in the hospitals.
- With the collective efforts of DFPD & State Governments, 912 distilleries/independent manufacturers were accorded permissions to produce hand sanitizer.
- Installed capacity for production of hand sanitizer increased substantially to 30 lakh litre per day. As on 30.11.2021, more than 5 crore litre of hand sanitizer has been produced.
- Keeping in view the sufficient availability of hand sanitizer at reasonable price in the country, export of sanitizer has also been allowed.
- Diversion of excess sugar to ethanol and Augmentation of Ethanol Production Capacity under Ethanol Blended with Petrol (EBP) Programme:
- Government has fixed target of 10% blending of fuel grade ethanol with petrol by 2022 & 20% blending by 2025. To achieve blending targets, Government is encouraging sugar mills and distilleries to enhance their distillation capacities for which Government is facilitating them to avail loans from banks for which interest subvention @ 6% or 50% of the interest charged by the banks whichever is lower is being borne by Government.
- In year 2013, ethanol distillation capacity of molasses based distilleries was 215 cr litres. However, in past 7 ½ years due to the policy changes made by the Government, the capacity of molasses based distilleries have been doubled and are currently at 519 cr litres. Supply of ethanol to OMCs was only 38 crore litres with blending levels of only 1.53 % in ethanol supply year (ESY) 2013-14. Production of fuel grade ethanol and its supply to OMCs has increased by about 8 times from 2013-14 to 2020-21; about 302.30 Cr ltrs ethanol have been supplied to OMCs for blending thereby achieving 8.10% blending in 2020-21. The details of Ethanol supplied for blending and percentage of blending achieved since 2013-14 is as under:-
|Ethanol Supply Year
(December – November)
|Qty Supplied (crore litres)||Blending Percentage|