New Delhi, Jan 12 (IANS) The Centre has distributed about 19.76 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) of foodgrains to the beneficiaries so far under Phase V of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY), taking the total under the scheme since it was launched in April 2020 to about 580 LMT.
The Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD) under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution had issued an allocation order of 163 LMT foodgrains to all states/UTs for the four-month distribution period.
“It is only the second month of distribution and the reports available from the states/UTs show distribution of about 19.76 LMT foodgrains to the beneficiaries so far,” said a release issued by the Ministry.
Phase V started from December 2021 and will continue up to March 2022. The Department is anticipating that the distribution performance of the current phase shall also be on the same high level as achieved in the earlier phases.
Under the PM-GKAY scheme (Phases I to V), the Department has so far allocated a total of about 759 LMT foodgrains to the states/UTs for free distribution among around 80 crore beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), which is equivalent to about Rs 2.6 lakh crore in food subsidy, the release said, adding, “As per the phase-wise distribution reports made available by the states/UTs, so far, a cumulative total of about 580 LMT foodgrains have been distributed to the beneficiaries.”
In the wake of the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country in March 2020, pursuant to the announcement made by the Prime Minister, the DFPD had started the distribution of additional and free-of-cost foodgrains (rice/wheat) to around 80 crore NFSA beneficiaries across the country.
The step was taken to ameliorate the food security hardships faced by the poor and needy due to the unprecedented outbreak of the pandemic, lockdowns and the ensuing economic disruptions caused across the country.