New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: Amid coronavirus outbreak in the country, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said that five kilograms of wheat and rice along with one kilogram of pulse would be given to 80 crore rationcard household to ensure no porr stay hungry during COVID-19 lockdown. She also added that an additional five kg off wheat and rice will be free. 

"According to Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Ann Yojna (for the next three months), 80 crore poor people will be covered, in addition to already allotted 5Kg of rice/ wheat per person, and an additional 5kg will be free. An additional 1 kg pulse (according to regional preference) would also be given, Nirmala Sitharaman was quoted as saying by ANI. 

The move is higher than what rationcard are getting at present under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) at a highly subsidised price of Rs 3 per kg for rice and Rs 2 per kg for wheat.

While announcing the relief measures, Sitharaman said that free distribution of rice, wheat and pulses will be provided under the Rs 1.7 lakh crore Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY).

Besides 5kg rice and wheat (and additional 5kg), one kilo of pulses of regional preference will be provided to each poor household for free next three months, she said.

The ration cardholders would be able to take the foodgrains and pulses from the Public Public Distribution System (PDS) in two installments.

"This measure will ensure no gareeb (poor) remains hungry," Sitharaman stressed.

According to an official data, the government has total of 58.49 per cent foodgrains in the Food Corporation of India and godowns. which includes 30.97 million tonnes of rice and 27.52 million tonne of wheat.

The foodgrains stock is much higher than the required norm of maintaining a reserve of about 21 million tonnes as on April 1. 

(with PTI inputs) 

Posted By: James Kuanal