Union Cabinet approves distribution of fortified rice across schemes

Cost of ₹2,700 cr to be borne by Centre till 2024

April 08, 2022 07:18 pm | Updated 11:36 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Photo used for representation purpose only.

Photo used for representation purpose only.

The government on Friday approved the distribution of fortified rice across government schemes such as the public distribution system, and nutrition services for school children and anganwadi beneficiaries.

The entire cost of the scheme of ₹2,700 crore will be borne by the Centre until it is fully implemented by June, 2024.

The initiative will be implemented in three phases. In the first phase, anganwadi centres under Integrated Child Development Services and PM POSHAN (or erstwhile mid-day meals) will be covered. A government statement said that this was slated to be achieved by March 2022, but is still under implementation.

The second phase will cover targeted public distribution system and other welfare schemes in all 291 aspirational districts as well as districts with high burden of stunting by March 2023. In the final phase the remaining districts of the country will be covered by March 2024.

Last year, during his Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that by 2024 rice made available under every government programme will be fortified to fight malnutrition.

The Food Corporation of India and State agencies are engaged in procuring fortified rice and so far nearly 88.65 LMT [lakh metric tonnes] of fortified rice has been procured, according to a government press statement.

A pilot for distribution of fortified rice through PDS was implemented for a period of three years from 2019-2020 across 11 States.

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