Union Minister for Food and Public Distribution welcomed Prime Minister’s announcement to extend the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) till November.
He urge the State governments, who have not so far distributed the entire allocated amount of food grains, should immediately pick up necessary food grains from the nearest FCI godowns and distribute it to the needy.
So far, 87% of food grains allocated under the scheme for April, May and June has reached the beneficiaries.
Only Chhattisgarh and Lakshadweep have achieved 100% distribution.
Oppositions are not impressed
Opposition parties and activists working in the field of food rights however, are not impressed.
Bowing to people’s protests, the central government has extended the provision of 5 kg grains free for 80 crore people for the next 5 months.
This falls far short of the required 10 kg per month for six months to all needy to prevent hunger deaths.
CPI general secretary questioned what was stopping the government on universalising public distribution at a time of crisis, especially when government godowns have stocks far exceeding the buffer stock range.
Associate Professor of Economics and food rights activist said while extending the food entitlements is a welcome move, PM didn’t speak about the Atmanirbhar Bharat scheme under which eight crore migrants, who are not covered under the National Food Security Act, were provided food grains for two months.