Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan has asked states and Union territories to lift foodgrains from the Food Corporation of India (FCI) depots to be distributed to the migrants around the country. According to reports, the foodgrains will be distributed to eight crore migrant labourers and their families under Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan. Paswan further said the Centre is sensitive to the plight of the poor and migrant labourers and the Ministry of Food and Consumer Affairs is taking all the steps to ensure that no one is hungry.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a special economic and comprehensive package of Rs 20 lakh crore on May 12. As part of the economic measures (Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan), Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced many short and long term measures for the poor including migrant workers. This includes distribution of free foodgrains and pulses to eight crore migrant labourers, who are not covered under National Food Security Act or state scheme PDS Cards, at 5 kg per person per month free of cost for two months (May and June).," Paswan said while speaking to the press via video conference on Saturday.
Paswan stated that in order to mitigate the plight of migrants during this precarious situation and also ensure availability of food for them and their families, 8 LMT of food grains has been allocated to states/UTs and the Centre will bear the entire cost on account of such distribution including transportation within the State, dealers’ margin etc.
He further said that the state/UT-wise allocation orders have been issued. The allocation has been made taking 10% of the total number of beneficiaries covered under NFSA in a particular state/UT. He said that identification of beneficiaries and distribution of food grains to such beneficiaries will be the responsibility of respective state/UT government.
Paswan said that to ensure National Portability of ration card under ‘One Nation One Card’ Scheme, the department has started Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IM-PDS). He further informed that as on 1st May 2020 beneficiaries of 17 states/UTs have onboarded the ‘One Nation One Card’ scheme. He said 3 more states/UTs will be added by June 2020 and by August, 2020 total 23 states/UT will be part of this scheme. He said the DoFPD is targeting to implement this plan in all State/UTs by March 2021.