Food Corporation to spend ₹15 crore in five States to buy foodgrain bags with PM Modi’s photo

According to RTI replies, regional offices of Food Corporation of India in Rajasthan, Sikkim, Mizoram, Tripura, and Meghalaya have finalised tenders for procuring the 10-kg bags

Updated - March 02, 2024 08:53 am IST

Published - March 01, 2024 09:18 pm IST - New Delhi

The Central government claims that over 75 crore people benefitted each year under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana in 2020-21 and 2021-22. Photo: Special Arrangement

The Central government claims that over 75 crore people benefitted each year under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana in 2020-21 and 2021-22. Photo: Special Arrangement

In the run-up to the 2024 general election, the Central government is spending around ₹15 crore in five States, to procure bags with the logo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, that would be used to distribute foodgrains under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY).

Activist Ajay Bose received replies under the Right to Information (RTI) Act that the regional offices of Food Corporation of India (FCI) in Rajasthan, Sikkim, Mizoram, Tripura, and Meghalaya have finalised tenders for procuring “woven laminated bags with an indicative logo of PM Modi” to distribute food grains. 

Under the PMGKAY, free foodgrains are provided to about 81.35 crore beneficiaries of Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Households (PHH). The Central government claims that over 75 crore people benefitted each year under PMGKAY in 2020-21 and 2021-22.

According to the RTI reply, the Rajasthan office has ordered 1.07 crore synthetic bags, each capable of holding 10 kg of grain, at a cost of ₹12.375 per bag with the total expenditure being ₹13.29 crore. Similarly, the Meghalaya office has awarded the tender to procure 4.22 lakh bags at ₹12.5 apiece, to Plascom Industries LLP, with the total spending being ₹52.75 lakh.

Also read: Explained | Is PMGKAY still needed?

Another company named S.S.S. Services has bagged tenders for both Mizoram and Tripura at a slightly higher price of ₹14.3 per bag. The FCI’s regional office in Shillong stated in the RTI reply that Mizoram would procure 1.75-lakh Modi-branded bags for ₹25 lakh while Tripura spent ₹85.51 lakh on 5.98 lakh bags.

The FCI’s regional office in Sikkim said that Injecto Polymers Pvt. Ltd. has been selected for supply of 10-kg PMGKAY bags in the State, but the process is pending as bags are still being produced. For Sikkim, the FCI is looking to procure 98,000 bags at ₹14.65 apiece, while spending ₹14.35 lakh. 

“For West Bengal region, selection of company for production of bags is under process,” the RTI reply stated. 

The Hindu had earlier reported that the FCI had written to all of its 26 regional offices directing them to float tenders for procuring woven laminated bags with logo of the Prime Minister, for distribution of food grains under the PMGKAY.

“During the free grain distribution under PMGKAY that started in 2020 when the pandemic began, unbranded 50 kg jute sacks were used to disburse grain. The branding of bags with faces of political figures has begun in 2024, ahead of the election,” said an official in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.

The annual food subsidy borne by the Central government towards distribution of food grains to AAY households and PHH beneficiaries is ₹2.13 lakh crore. 

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