New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: To ensure efficient supply of foodgrains to people below poverty line during the three-week-long lockdown, the government on Wednesday announced that to increase monthly quota of subsidised foodgrains by 2 kg to 7 kg per person through ration shops for 80 crore beneficiaries.

A decision in this regard was taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"The government has decided to provide 7 kg per person of foodgrains to 80 crore people under the Public Distribution System (PDS), which the world's largest food security system," Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar told media after the meeting.

The cost of wheat is Rs 27/kg, which will be provided at a subsidised rate of Rs 2/kg, while the cost of rice is about Rs 32/kg but will be supplied at Rs 3/kg through ration shops, he said.

All states have been asked to take foodgrains from the Centre in advance for distribution through the PDS, he added.

Under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), the government is supplying 5 kg of foodgrains per month to over 80 crore people at a highly subsidised price.

The decision to allocate additional foodgrains through the PDS has been taken as state-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) is saddled with wheat and rice stock. With some foodgrains stock kept in open space, the FCI is under pressure to clear stock before monsoon. 

After PM Modi's announcement of 21-day lockdown across the country in fight against coronavirus, people afre concerned about the availability of essential goods and commodities. 

The prime minister appealed to people not to panic, saying thronging shops will pose the risk of spread of COVID-19. However, people fearing shortage and rise in prices of the commodities queued up in front of grocery stores, vegetable vendors and medical shops.

(With PTI inputs)

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta