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 Rs. 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.
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, a press release stated.