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Centre tells states to pace up distribution of grains to migrants

NEW DELHI: The Centre has asked state governments to speed up distribution of free foodgrains, as just one million out of the 80 million migrants have benefited so far from the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan package which aims to provide 5 kg foodgrains to each beneficiary every month.

“States are slow in identifying beneficiaries. They should fast-track the procedure and start distributing. We don’t need any list right now. States can compile the list of beneficiaries after one month. Procedures should not delay distribution,” said a senior food ministry official, who did not wish to be identified.

The scheme aims to cover migrant labourers who are stranded, quarantined or in transit. The government also provides 1 kg of chana every month for two months to 19.6 million families under this scheme. “Around 63% chana has been dispatched to the states. Dispatches to some of the consuming states were delayed for want of firm indent. Some states have changed the single delivery point to multiple locations, whereas a few states have revised their requirement,” said the official.

However, the official said the coverage under another scheme, PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY), announced just after the lockdown, was impressive.

“So far, about 740 million out of 800 million beneficiaries have obtained the benefits under PMGKAY, while distribution process in some states is operational for the month of April and more beneficiaries may get covered,” said the official.

Under PMGKAY, the government is providing 5 kg free foodgrains per person and one kg pulses per family to 800 million people for three months ending June.

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