Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], May 24 (ANI): Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Minister, Bharat Bhushan Ashu on Monday hit out at BJP leader Tarun Chugh for allegedly "misrepresenting food distribution figures" and said that he is forced by the "habit of lying" for political gains.
The Punjab government had started the distribution of additional foodgrains under the Prime Minister's Poor Welfare Food Scheme to the registered beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act 2013 in the state on May 16, after completion of wheat procurement season in the state.
Ashu informed that during the second wave of coronavirus, the Punjab government had set up about 3,500 procurement centers in the state to check the spread of the disease.
"All employees and officials were able to procure wheat in a smooth manner. The distribution of foodgrains to the beneficiaries started on May 16, as soon as the procurement of wheat was completed on May 13," he said.
Out of the total foodgrains allotted to the Punjab government in the last 8 days, 98,224 metric tonnes of wheat was collected from the warehouses of FCI, constituting 69 per cent of the total foodgrains.
Punjab distributed 15,705 MT of wheat to the beneficiaries, as on Monday.
He added that the beneficiaries were being called in small groups to hand them their allotted quota of foodgrains. This was done in order to check the spread of COVID-19 during the distribution of food grains.
The minister said that the leader of the opposition, Chugh, in his statement had mentioned 75 per cent distribution of foodgrains in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
He said that Chugh should have seen before saying that no crop was being procured in these states. Meanwhile, Punjab has procured a record of 132 lakh metric tonnes of wheat during this period.
He said that apart from Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Aan Yojna, Punjab government was also distributing foodgrains to 8,78,184 registered beneficiaries under a state-sponsored scheme.
The minister also said that Punjab government would complete the work of distribution of foodgrains before the date fixed by the Centre, June 30.(ANI)