NEW DELHI, May 4: The Centre on Tuesday said 28 States and Union Territories have started lifting additional foodgrains meant for free distribution to 80 crore beneficiaries for two months under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana-III (PMGKAY).
PMGKAY-III has been reintroduced for two months – May and June – to ameliorate the hardships faced by the poor and needy due to various disruptions caused by the resurgence of COVID-19 in the country, it said.
Under this special scheme, about 80 crore NFSA (National Food Security Act) beneficiaries covered under both categories of NFSA namely, Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Households (PHH) are being provided with an additional quota of free-of-cost foodgrains (rice/wheat) at a scale of 5 kg per person per month, over and above their regular monthly entitlements.
In a statement, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution said that the Food Corporation of India (FCI) has already positioned sufficient foodgrains in all States and UTs for the successful implementation of the scheme.
“Till 3rd May, 2021, 28 States/ UTs have started lifting from FCI depots and 5.88 LMT food grains have been supplied for further distribution to beneficiaries,” the Ministry said.
Lakshadweep has completely lifted May-June allocation, whereas Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have already lifted 100 per cent of May allocation, it said.
The rest of the States/UTs (Punjab, Chandigarh, Goa, MP, Manipur, Nagaland, Odisha and Puducherry) have also been sensitised to immediately start the lifting foodgrains under the PMGKAY and the same is likely to be accelerated in the coming days, it added.
Further, the Ministry said the States have also been advised to encourage migrant NFSA beneficiaries for using the facility of portability under the 'One Nation One Ration Card' plan.
The cost of free foodgrains distribution under the scheme is entirely being borne by the Central Government. The additional grains given for free under PMGKAY to the NFSA beneficiaries are over and above the existing monthly entitlement of 5 kg grains per person. (Agencies)