In SC, Centre elaborates on food for migrants without ration cards
The Central authorities on Monday knowledgeable Supreme Court that the States and the Union Territories (UTs) have bought practically 3.7 lakh metric tonnes at concessional charges from the Food Corporation of India this yr to feed migrants without ration cards and others exterior the protecting cowl of the National Food Security Act, debunking apprehensions raised in courtroom that these without ration cards could also be left to die amidst a devastating pandemic.
The Supreme Court had requested the Centre to clarify “how food will reach migrant labourers without ration cards”.
The Centre has positioned on file particulars of its schemes to feed the migrant poor badly affected within the public well being disaster.
Besides the acquisition of grains by the States and the UTs underneath the Open Market Sales Scheme (OMSS) in 2021-2022, the Centre acknowledged, NGOs and charitable organisations had bought 421 metric tonnes of food commodities.
“NGOs run kitchens for supply of cooked food to non-card migrants,” the Centre, represented by Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, stated in written submissions in courtroom.
However, the accountability to distribute food grains lay with the States, it famous. “Union of India is committed to making sufficient food grains available to the States at highly subsidised prices under the above schemes, to tide over the difficulty of food security during the current crisis, however, the responsibility of identification and distribution to the beneficiaries lies with the States/UTs,” it submitted.
Advice to States, UTs
The Centre stated it had written twice to the States/UTs- on May 20 and May 25, advising them to “avail their requirements of food grains under the schemes and to provide food grains to those not covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), including migrants/stranded migrants, as per locally assessed requirements”.
The authorities knowledgeable the courtroom in regards to the Prime Minister’s announcement on June 7 to additional lengthen the distribution of free grains underneath the third section of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY-III) to beneficiaries until November 2021. The scheme covers 80 crore beneficiaries. Earlier, on April 26, the scheme had been prolonged for two months, May and June. The food offered underneath the scheme supplemented the traditional public distribution scheme allocation of grains as per the NFSA.
The Centre stated it liberalised the OMSS in 2021, contemplating the “resurgence” of the pandemic. This was accomplished with the “objective to make wheat and rice stocks easily available in open market”.
“Under the policy, rates have been made attractive and uniform rate fixed pan India during Covid period,” it submitted.
Besides, amongst different measures, the Centre famous, it had prolonged the scheme for food grains for “beneficiaries not covered under NFSA and to whom ration cards have been issued by the State Governments under their own scheme @ 5 kg per person per month”.