COVID-19: Gujarat adds 17 lakh beneficiaries under food welfare scheme

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Ahmedabad, Jul 5 (PTI) Gujarat has added 17 lakh beneficiaries in the last one year under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), a central scheme launched to provide free ration to the poor and needy people affected by the coronavirus outbreak, according to Food Corporation of India (FCI) data.

The scheme was launched in March last year to lessen the hardships faced by poor people due to economic disruption caused by the coronavirus, said a release by FCI's Gujarat office on Monday.

As against 3.24 crore eligible persons who received free ration last year under this scheme (when it was launched) in Gujarat, as many as 3.41 crore beneficiaries received foodgrains this year in Gujarat, said Aseem Chhabra, General Manager, FCI, Gujarat region.

Figures shared by Chhabra indicated that 17 lakh beneficiaries were added to the scheme in Gujarat in the last one year.

'Five kilogram foodgrains per person per month are provided free of cost under the PMGKAY. Respective state governments identify beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). Tribals, landless labourers, marginalised farmers and daily wage earners are also covered under this scheme' Chhabra told reporters.

The scheme has been given multiple extensions ever since its launch.

Under the PMGKAY-III, which was in place between May and June this year, the central government gave 2.39 lakh metric tonnes of wheat and 1.03 lakh tonnes of rice to the Gujarat government for its 3.41 crore identified beneficiaries, said Chhabra.

Recently, the Centre extended the scheme by five more months, that is till November-end, and named it as PMGKAY-IV.

'For PMGKAY-IV, we have allocated 5.98 lakh metric tonnes of wheat and 2.56 lakh metric tonnes of rice for the registered beneficiaries of Gujarat,' he said.

Chhabra said 1,314 MT of wheat and 4,599 MT of rice were allocated for the beneficiaries of the adjoining Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. PTI PJT RSY RSY

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