By Dikhya Mohanty
Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan has reiterated that ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ (ONORC) scheme would likely start working by January next year 2021, ahead of its 31st March deadline, across India.
The ministry is helping out to include all remaining States/UTs onboard of ONORC by January 2021. Many states/UTs highlighted the challenges related to slow network connectivity.
Pawan informed that he has taken up the issue with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and there is a proposal to provide a free net connection to every gram panchayat for a one-year duration.
The Minister also informed that the balanced quantity of foodgrains and whole chana under the ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ scheme will now be distributed till 31st August 2020.
Even he welcomed the extension of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the extension of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGAY) till November 2020. Around 33,620 MT whole grams have been dispatched to the states and UTs. A total of 32,968 MT whole gram has been lifted by various States and UTs, out of which10,645 MT has been distributed.
The identification process of genuine beneficiaries for ANBA was little delayed, therefore, the distribution period of the balance of already lifted 6.39 LMT food grains with the states/UTs has been extended till 31st August.
The Atma Nirbhar Bharat package has 5kg free food grains per person and 1 kg of a free whole gram per family which has been distributed to migrant labourers and needy families who are under NFSA or State scheme PDS cards. A total of 203 LMT food grains will be distributed among 81 crore beneficiaries.
Under PMGKAY-1, a total of 116.02 LMT food grains have been lifted by the States/UTs. In April 2020, 37.43 LMT (94 per cent) food grains have been distributed to 74.14 crore beneficiaries, in May 2020, total 37.41 LMT (94 per cent) food grains have been distributed to 73.75 crore beneficiaries and in June 2020, 32.44 LMT (82 per cent) food grains have been distributed to 64.42 crore beneficiaries.
As regards Pulses, Paswan informed that so far, 5.83 LMT Pulses have been dispatched to States/UTs and 5.72 LMT have reached the States/UTs, while 4.66 LMT pulses have been distributed.