Nearly 7 crore people of Maharashtra and 5.32 lakh people of Goa have benefitted by the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic during May- June 2021.
Food Corporation of India (FCI) has been at the forefront of implementing the PMGKAY scheme and has already positioned adequate stock of foodgrains in all states and union territories.
Briefing media persons in Mumbai today, Ms. K P Asha, General Manager, FCI, Maharashtra said 3.68 lakh metric tonnes of wheat and 2.57 lakh metric tonnes of rice have been distributed during May – June 2021. Under the scheme, 7 lakh metric tonnes of foodgrains had been allocated for Maharashtra for the two-month period.
Shri R. P. Singh, Executive Director, West Zone, FCI said “the Government has now extended the scheme for another five months, and the Food Corporation of India has maintained sufficient availability of foodgrains to meet the requirement. It already has 11.02 Lakh Metric Tonnes of Wheat and 6.65 Lakh Metric Tonnes of rice in stock, which has been further supplemented by 2 lakh MT wheat and 1.5 lakh MT rice to ensure uninterrupted supply in all the revenue districts of Maharashtra and Goa.”
Shri Singh further said that “due to timely action taken by FCI, there was no disruption in supply chain management of foodgrains, no complaints received from people, media or state administration. Ample quantity of foodgrains were always made available in own or hired depots of FCI”.
Shri Singh further elaborated that FCI has been following all COVID-19 protocols like social distancing, wearing of masks in offices and depots, hand hygiene and frequent sanitization of premises, while handling foodgrain stocks.
The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had on June 23rd approved the extension of PMGKAY scheme till November, in a bid to lessen the hardship faced by the poor due to economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The move is aimed at benefitting 80 crore people across the country, distributing 5 kg of wheat or rice per month. The move entails a financial implication of Rs. 67,266 crore. The additional free of cost allocation of food grains will be over and above the regular monthly food grains allocated for beneificiaries covered under NFSA.
The PMGKAY programme has won praise of the World Food Programme of the United Nations for ensuring food security for the poor during pandemic times. The WFP is reportedly keen on undertaking a case study of the scheme so that other emerging economies could benefit from its design and implementation.