Agri Business

Centre buys 33.8 mt of wheat, pays farmers ₹49,965 crore online

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on May 11, 2021

Meanwhile, States have lifted 15.55 lakh tonnes of foodgrains to be distributed under the PMGKAY for May

The Food Corporation of India and State procurement agencies have so far procured 33.8 million tonnes (mt) of wheat compared with 24.8 mt procured during the corresponding period last year. This is already 79 per cent of 42.7 mt target set for the current rabi season, Union Food and Public Distribution Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey said on Monday.

While around 12.87 mt procured have been procured from Punjab, 9.49 mt and 8.07 mt of wheat have been purchased from farmers in Madhya Pradesh and Haryana, respectively. Uttar Pradesh, on the other hand, contributed around 2.01 mt and Rajasthan’s share has been 1.17 mt.

A total of around ₹49,965 crore has been transferred online through direct benefit transfer to the accounts of farmers till date.

 

15.55 lt grains lifted

Meanwhile, States have lifted 15.55 lakh tonnes (lt) of foodgrains to be distributed under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) for May and as many as 13 States and Union Territories including Maharashtra, Karnataka and Jharkhand have already started distributing the free ration of five kg of grains (rice or wheat) per person to people, Pandey said.

These States and UTs have already distributed 1.01 lt of grains, benefitting 2.03 crore people, he told reporters here. The government has decided to re-launch PMGKAY for May and June months as the second Covid-19 wave started affecting a number of States, forcing them to impose local lockdowns.

Under the scheme, around 80 crore Indians, beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act 2013 would get five kgs of free foodgrains for two months – May and June.

Pandey also said States have completed 100 per cent digitisation of ration cards and 92 per cent ration cards and 89 per cent beneficiaries have been Aadhar-seeded already.

He said the government is also selling wheat and rice at ₹21 and ₹22 a kg under Open Market Sale Scheme – much below their economic cost – in order to check food inflation. Since April 2020, the government has sold 53.53 LT of grains under the scheme.

The “One Nation One Ration Card” (ONORC) scheme is covering as many as 69 crore beneficiaries and approximately 1.6 crore portability transactions are being carried out every month. “Since April 2020, there were as many as 18.3 crore portability transactions across the country,” he said.

Similarly the department has launched an App called Mera Ration which can be easily downloaded on phones. The mobile application is available is already available in seven regional languages apart from English and Hindi, and more languages are being added, he said. Till date, around 7 lakh people have downloaded the App, the Food Secretary said.

According to Pandey, currently 30 to 35 railway rakes are operating per day to move procured grains from States, predominantly from Punjab and Haryana, to godowns and Railways has agreed to increase this to 50 to 55 rakes if need arises.

Published on May 10, 2021

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