During the ongoing COVID crisis, the Government of India has announced the extension of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana IV (PMGKAY-IV) for five months from July to November 2021 to provide free food grains to the affected population across the country.
As part of the scheme, food grains at a scale of 5 kg per person per month will be provided to all the eligible beneficiaries over and above the regular monthly entitlements under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
In line with the announcement of GoI, the Food Corporation of India (FCI), Odisha Region has mobilised its resources to ensure proper implementation of the extended PMGKAY-IV. The scheme will benefit a total of 80 crore people across the country including 3.24 crore beneficiaries in Odisha.
“The Government of India will bear the entire expenditure covering the cost of food grains that is the cost of its procurement, storage and transportation as well as distribution. In this process, GoI will spend Rs 39 per kg for rice and Rs 28 per kg for wheat,” FCI Odisha Region General Manager, Shri Nishith Kumar Pradhan said while addressing a Press Conference at Bhubaneswar.
Under the scheme, about 199 lakh metric tonnes of food grains will be distributed to the vulnerable society across the country and the total cost borne by Government of India will be approximately Rs 67,492 crore.
“Lifting of food grains under the scheme has already been stated in Odisha. Approximately, 1.08 lakh metric tonnes of wheat and 7.03 lakh metric tonnes of rice have been allotted for Odisha under the scheme which will be lifted by OSCSC Ltd from central pool stocks and FCI depots,” said Shri Pradhan.
The entire cost of the food grains which comes around Rs 3044 crore for Odisha will be borne by the Government of India under the scheme which will benefit approximately 3.24 crore beneficiaries in the state.
“FCI Odisha is fully prepared to meet the requirement of the state under PMGKAY-IV for which food grains has to be lifted by October 31, 2021. FCI Odisha has already positioned sufficient food grains in all its depots for successful implementation of the scheme and started supplying food grains to state agency for lifting,” Shri Pradhan added.
It must be noted here that under PMGKAY-III, which was announced by GoI for two months during May-June 2021, about 79 lakh metric tonnes of food grains were distributed to 80 crore beneficiaries across the country.
Under PMGKAY-III, 43000 metric tonnes of wheat and 2.82 lakh metric tonnes of rice were allotted for the state of Odisha. The entire cost of the food grains was about Rs 1220 crore for Odisha which was solely borne by the Government of India.