The Union Cabinet has approved a part of Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan that includes an allocation for food grains to the stranded migrant workers, slated to benefit over 8 crores people living in other states. While revealing a tranche of the economic relief package, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had declared that the government will provide 5 kg of grains per person per month for two months free of cost.
The centre released a statement on Wednesday clarifying, “It would entail an estimated food subsidy of about Rs 2,982.27 crore. As per reports, the expenditure towards intra-state transportation and handling charges and dealer’s margin / additional dealer margin will account for about Rs 127.25 crore which will be borne fully by Central Government. Accordingly, the total subsidy from the Government of India is estimated at about Rs 3,109.52 crore.”
Earlier Sitharaman had said, “Migrants who are neither registered under national food security act or state card beneficiaries will be provided 5 kg of grains per person and 1 kg chana per family per month for two months.”
The state governments to carry out implementation
The State governments will be identifying the migrants, distribute the grains, will be conducting the complete implementation of this part of the scheme, and come back with the required guidelines. About 8 crores of migrants will be benefitted from this move.
Besides that, to enable migrants to access the public distribution system from any fair price shop in India by 2021, a technology-driven system will be in operation.
Sitharaman further added, “This scheme will enable the migrant beneficiary to access PDS from any fair price shop in the country,” Sitharaman had said. As of now 67 crore beneficiaries in 23 states amounting to 83 percent of the PDS population have been included in the scheme. “All states will complete full fair price shop automation by March 2021.”
This is approved at a moment when those migrants who have ration cards but are stranded in the other states are not being able to avail food grains from the fair price shops because of being registered in their natives.
Allocation of food grains for the migrant labourers in the Atmanirbhar Bharat package
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced free food grains to the migrant workers across the country who have been amongst the worst-affected sections of the population from the economic tailspin caused by the coronavirus outbreak in the second tranche of the economic relief package.
A total of 9 announcements were made in the second tranche, which included free food grains to migrant workers for 2 months, national portability of ration cards, which permitted people to take ration from any public distribution unit in the country.