National

States’ grain offtake for April-June doubles

In the corresponding three months of 2019, the total amount of rice lifted by the States and Union Territories from the Food Corporation of India (FCI) under the Centre’s various schemes was 90.71 lakh tonnes. This year the figure was 192.34 lakh tonnes.

In the corresponding three months of 2019, the total amount of rice lifted by the States and Union Territories from the Food Corporation of India (FCI) under the Centre’s various schemes was 90.71 lakh tonnes. This year the figure was 192.34 lakh tonnes.   | Photo Credit: S.S. Kumar

Relief measures being implemented in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic have paved the way for States and Union Territories in the country to draw more than double the quantity of rice for distribution during April to June this year, compared to the corresponding period last year.

In the corresponding three months of 2019, the total amount of rice lifted by the States and Union Territories from the Food Corporation of India (FCI) under the Centre’s various schemes was 90.71 lakh tonnes. This year the figure was 192.34 lakh tonnes.

Also read | PM extends free foodgrains scheme till November

The reason is obvious. After the breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central government had announced that Priority Household (PHH) and Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) cardholders in the country, regarded as the poor, would receive free additional entitlement of 5 kg per person per month, initially for three months (April to June) and now up to November. This was in addition to their entitlement under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

The Centre also came up with a scheme for providing wheat and rice to ration cardholders not covered under the NFSA or non-priority household (NPHH) cardholders at the rate of ₹21 per kg and ₹22 per kg respectively. This has been used by Tamil Nadu to provide additional entitlement of rice to about 85.99 lakh such cardholders.

In addition, aimed at addressing the requirements of migrant labourers who were not covered under the NFSA or any scheme of the States, the Union government announced one more scheme — distribution of free food grains at 5 kg per person per month for May and June.

The post-pandemic measures coupled with existing schemes have made a difference to the off-take position of rice.

A perusal of FCI data reveals that seven States availed over 60% of the total quantity of rice during the three-month period. These are Uttar Pradesh (30.8 lakh tonnes), Bihar (20.94 lakh tonnes), West Bengal (14.04 lakh tonnes), Maharashtra (13.84 lakh tonnes), Andhra Pradesh (13.6 lakh tonnes), Tamil Nadu (13.5 lakh tonnes) and Karnataka (13.44 lakh tonnes).

As for wheat, the rate of increase was not as high and stood at around 30%. Compared to 59.45 lakh tonnes lifted in the three months of 2019, the amount this year was 78.16 lakh tonnes. Rajasthan had drawn the highest quantity of 14.84 lakh tonnes of wheat followed by Uttar Pradesh (14.01 lakh tonnes).

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 3:06:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/states-grain-offtake-for-april-june-doubles/article31994795.ece

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