Chennai: Till date, for Tamilnadu and Puducherry, government of India has issued out 16,50,000 metric tonnes of food grains (15,78,000 MT rice and 72830 MT wheat) under the Prime Minister’s Food Security Scheme for the Poor in addition to their normal monthly allocation of ration food grains issued under the NFSA (National Food Security Act), said R D Nazeem, Executive Director, South Zone, Food Corporation of India.
‘The government of India has started this scheme from April 2020 onwards which is now extended till November 2021. In the State of TN, around 3.57 crore beneficiaries are covered under NFSA and are provided with addition 5 kg of rice/wheat (per head) free of cost. Under this scheme, in Tamilnadu and Puducherry, additional quantity of rice from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, and wheat from Punjab were moved during the year 2020-21. The cost of food grains moved for free issue under centrally sponsored scheme cost around Rs 7588 crore which was borne by the exchequer,’ Nazeem said.
Stating that the government is committed to mitigate the hardships of the poor during the pandemic period, he added: In Tamilnadu, universal Free PDS (Public Distribution System) is practiced. Under this scheme everyone is entitled to subsidised food and no exclusion is based on the income criteria. Hence in order to cover beneficiaries who are not covered under NFSA, additional food grains are required for the State to feed those beneficiaries who are not covered under NFSA.