New Delhi, April 14 (IANS) Union Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Ram Vilas Paswan interacted with the Ministers of Food and Consumer Affairs of all the states regarding the status of distribution.
In a video conference with the ministers on Monday, he appealed them to expedite free ration distribution under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana.
Paswan thanked the ministers on behalf of the Prime Minister and said that the states ensured timely supply of food grains and other essential items to the common people in this hour of crisis.
According to the statement issued by the ministry, all the states expressed their gratitude to the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Food unanimously. They also praised the hard work of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and its employees.
Paswan said that under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, 5 kg of rice or wheat per person is to be distributed free of cost every month for the next three months to all beneficiaries of Public Distribution Scheme (PDS). Also, a provision has been made to give one kg of pulses free to every family with Ration card.
He urged the states to expedite the lifting and distribution of cereals and pulses and said that the entire cost of this is being borne by the Government of India.
Under the National Fertilizer Protection Act (NFSA), the state governments can simultaneously take the ration for the next six months as the Government of India has allowed the states to take the ration for three months on credit basis.
The statement by the ministry, the Union Minister said that if the name of the eligible beneficiary or anyone’s family member under NFSA is missed out, it should be added as soon as possible so that no eligible beneficiary is deprived of food grains.
He advised to strictly follow social distancing at ration shops as well as use of face masks and hand sanitizers.
The Union Minister said under the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS), the price of rice has been fixed at Rs 22 and wheat at Rs 21 per kg, and any private organisation or an NGO that distributes free food during the lockdown will be allowed to buy wheat or rice at this rate from the FCI depot.
Paswan asked the states to ensure necessary preparations for the government procurement of wheat from April 15 and advised them to follow social distancing at the procurement centres.
Apart from this, he asked them to ensure that all essential items are available in the local market at reasonable rates.
As per the information, in the video conferencing which lasted for more than three hours, all the states expressed satisfaction over the availability and continuous supply of food grains and other essential items and said that there is no problem and supply of food grains to every family is been ensured.