The COVID-19 food crisis has been artificially created by the states. And the poor are being used to create their vote banks via their misery and hunger.
Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) is the program that has become the vehicle by which the Modi Government is working to distribute food to the poor during COVID-9.
A massive 120 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) of food grains are being distributed free to 80 crore individuals. That is the grains that were made available by the Central government for 3 months period for free!
This covers – 800 million people – 2/3rd Indian population and over 2.5 times the US population. Food for 3 months free! At a cost of Rs 46,000 crore or $6.5 billion to the central exchequer.
Of this, over 69 lakh metric tonnes have already been lifted by the different states and the Union Territories. 5 Union Territories have already picked up the entire 3 moths quota of food grains for distribution.
Manufactured COVID-19 Food crisis?
Meanwhile, some parties and governments in India have been wretched enough to play politics with even this life-saving program by the Modi government.
Until May 6th, as per Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Delhi had only distributed 63 tonnes of food grains to the beneficiaries – which is less than 1% of the total grains allocated to it (35,540 tonnes). This is simply unacceptable! Where is the foodgrain cache being hidden? And why?
The communication from the government also suggested how many states/UTs have lifted for different months (out of a total of ).
- State/UTs who have completed lifting of grains for 3 months: 05
- Number of states which have completed the lifting for 2 month’s quota: 18
- Number of states which have lifted only 1 months quota: 14
What is happening in India from the perspective of handling the COVID-19 food crisis is unprecedented anywhere in the world. Yet, the ideologically compromised media and the opposition have been hell-bent on twisting and spinning the entire set of actions while not doing what is needed – taking care of the poor!
The entire distribution was being managed by the Fair price scheme via the ration shops. Full cost of operations which includes cost of the grain paid to the farmer up to payment of commission to FPS shop owners is being borne by the Center. The cost comes to Rs 39 per kg for rice and about Rs. 28 per kg for wheat.
Despite such detailed work by the Modi government, what we see is the same political one upmanship!