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 Ann Yojana (PMGKAY).
PMGKAY 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.
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Under the PMGKAY, additional foodgrains are provided free of cost via ration shops to 80 crore beneficiaries registered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
In a statement, the Food Ministry said that the state-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) has already positioned sufficient foodgrains in all states and UTs for the successful implementation of the scheme.
“Till May 3, about 28 States/ UTs have started lifting from FCI depots and 5.88 lakh tonne of foodgrains have been supplied for further distribution to beneficiaries,” the ministry said.
Lakshadweep has completely lifted its May-June allocation, while Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have already lifted 100 per cent of their May month 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 NFSA beneficiaries is over and above the existing monthly entitlement of 5 kg grains per person.
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