Inefficient PDS deprived poor since Independence: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacts with the beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana in Gujarat, through video conferencing, in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Inefficiency in delivery and corruption marked the public distribution system since Independence, depriving the poor of free ration in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during his virtual interaction with beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY) in Gujarat.

He said that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the PM-GKAY food security scheme helped crores of poor people as the government provided free food grains worth ₹2 lakh crore to almost 80 crore people since the lockdown was imposed in 2020. In Gujarat, he said, almost 3.5 crore people benefited from the scheme.

The PM claimed that no person remained hungry or without food due to the scheme under which free ration was given to everyone who needed it.

“The world has acknowledged the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana,” he said. “After Independence, almost every government has talked about providing cheap food to the poor. The scope and budget of cheap ration schemes increased year after year, but the effect it should have had remained limited. The country’s food reserves increased, but hunger and malnutrition did not decrease in that proportion,” he said, stressing that his government used technology to transfer ration to beneficiaries, weeding out middlemen who were eating into the system.

Calling the COVID-19 pandemic as the biggest calamity of the century, the PM said that hunger and starvation had become a massive crisis in many countries, but India had escaped it because of free ration supply.

“India identified the crisis and worked on it from the very first day of the pandemic,” he said.

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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 10:53:14 PM |

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