The Uttar Pradesh government has lifted about 1 lakh tonnes of foodgrains from the Centre for free distribution under the fourth phase of PMGKAY scheme.
The Centre is implementing the fourth phase of Pradhan Mantra Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) across the country for the period from July to November 2021.
Under this scheme, free foodgrains are being distributed to 80 crore beneficiaries over and above the quota fixed under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
In Uttar Pradesh alone, 14.71 crore ration card holders are benefiting from the PMGKAY. The state has the highest allocation in India under the NFSA.
The Union Food Ministry, in a statement, said about 36.80 lakh tonnes of foodgrains have been allocated to Uttar Pradesh under the PMGKAY for distribution through July-November.
Out of which, the state government has lifted so far 1 lakh tonnes under the scheme, it said.
The PMGKAY was first introduced in 2020 for eight months to provide relief to 80 crore beneficiaries covered under the NFSA from Covid-19 induced economic hardships.
The scheme was reintroduced this year for third phase implementation for two months till June and later was extended till November for the fourth phase implementation.
In the first phase of the PMGKAY implemented between April and June 2020, the Uttar Pradesh government had distributed the entire allocated foodgrains of 21.45 lakh tonnes.
In the second phase of the PMGKAY between July and November 2020, about 35.19 lakh tonnes of foodgrains were distributed under the scheme.
During the third phase of the PMGKAY between May and June of 2021, the state government distributed almost the entire allocated quantity of 14.69 lakh tonnes.
According to the ministry, the Uttar Pradesh government was allocated a total of 109.33 lakh tonnes of foodgrains worth Rs 40,093 crore under the scheme.
"Over 14.71 crore persons of Uttar Pradesh are being benefited through the said scheme," it said.
The ministry said that the central government is bearing the entire cost under the scheme.
Automation of Public Distribution System, biometric authentication of beneficiaries has minimised fraudulent practices, pilferage, among others.
The state is recording 100 per cent authentication-based transactions. More than 30 lakh duplicate beneficiaries and about 7 lakh dormant ration cards have been removed.
The ministry said automation of around 80,000 Fair Price Shops (FPS) led to savings of around Rs 3,000 crore for the state government.