May 24, 2020 1:50:00 am
Distribution of free pulses under the PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY) has picked pace after initial hiccups with 12 crore households getting the entitled amount till May 22, a top official in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food Distribution and Public Distribution said on Saturday.
Consumer Affairs Secretary Leena Nandan told The Sunday Express: “Against a three-month allocation of 5.87 lakh metric tons (1.95 LMT per month), a total quantity of 4.25 LMT has been dispatched to all States/UTs and about 3.19 LMT has been received by them… 1.34 LMT has been distributed to over 12 crore households till May 22.”
On March 26, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced free pulses — 1 kg per family — for the next three months as part of the Covid relief package to all beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act. However, only around 10 per cent families got the entitled amount in the first month of April. That number has now gone up to 61 per cent — 12 crore of the total 19.55 crore households.
Officials said some of the states distributed the entire amount in one go.
Citing reasons for the initial delay, Nandan said: “The Department, for the first time ever, undertook such a humongous exercise to make available pulses of choice, free of cost for three months, to all the States/UTs for distribution to all the NFSA beneficiaries.
“What made the whole exercise complex was that the different pulses had to be procured from different locations, milled before their supply to states as per the states’ choice, and these included seven types of pulses like tur dal, urad dal, moong whole, moong Dal, masoor dal, chana whole and chana dal, which are produced in different states.”
Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan on Friday held a video conference with State Food and Public Distribution Ministers and Food Secretaries to review the progress of NFSA, PMGKAY, Atmanirbhar Bharat Package and One Nation One Card initiative.
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