As many as 55 crore beneficiaries received foodgrains in May and around 2.6 crore beneficiaries in June under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana-III, informed Sudhanshu Pandey, Secretary, Department of Food and Public Distribution, on Thursday.
Speaking about the third phase of PMGKAY-III, Mr Pandey said that more than 63.67 lakh Metric Tonne (MT) foodgrains have been lifted by states and Union territories (UTs) from Food Corporation of India (FCI) depots, which is around 80 per cent of the total PMGKAY allocation for May and June.
He further said that around 28 lakh MT foodgrains have been distributed by 34 states and UTs to around 55 crore National Food Security Act (NFSA) beneficiaries for May and around 1.3 lakh MT foodgrains have been distributed to around 2.6 crore NFSA beneficiaries for June.
As on June 3, under NFSA, foodgrains have been distributed to around 90 per cent and 12 per cent of NFSA beneficiaries for May and June respectively, incurring a food subsidy of more than Rs 13,000 crore.
The food subsidy incurred for PMGKAY, so far, for May and June is more than Rs 9,200 crore, he added.
Emphasising the importance of “One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC)”, Mr Pandey said it is an ambitious plan and endeavour of the department to introduce the nationwide portability of ration cards under the NFSA.
The Secretary also said that at present, a monthly average of about 1.35 crore portability transactions are being recorded under the ONORC plan (including intra-state transactions). Further, a total of nearly 27.8 crore portability transactions have taken place across all states and UTs since the inception of the plan in August 2019. Out of which almost 19.8 crore portability transactions have been recorded during the COVID-19 period.
“It is notable that the states and UTs have been requested to undertake a widespread publicity and awareness of the ONORC plan, “14445” toll-free number and “Mera Ration” mobile application, which was recently developed by Department of Food and Public Distribution in association with National Informatics Centre (NIC) for the benefit of NFSA beneficiaries, specifically the migrant NFSA beneficiaries, in 10 different languages (English, Hindi, Odiya, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Gujarati and Marathi),” Mr Pandey said.
He added that efforts are afoot to include more regional languages in the “Mera Ration” app.