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Free rice for 2.6 crore in AP under PMGKAY from August 1

VIJAYAWADA: Education Minister Botcha Satyanarayana has said free rice will be distributed to 2.68 crore poor people in the State under the Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) from August 1. A decision in this regard was taken by Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy as per the recommendations of the Cabinet Subcommittee.

Botcha along with Civil Supplies Minister Karumuri Venkata Nageswara Rao was speaking at a press conference at the Interim Government Complex, Velagapudi, on Monday. Satyanarayana said that as part of the implementation of the National Food Security Scheme during the Covid pandemic, the Centre has introduced the PMGKAY. The scheme was implemented in the State from April 2020 to March 2022.

After the Covid situation improved, the state government appointed a ministerial sub-committee to discuss the measures to be taken to continue the scheme in the State.

As per the recommendation of the ministerial sub-committee, the government decided to continue the scheme for beneficiaries in seven erstwhile districts identified as backward in the AP Reorganization Act (four districts of Rayalaseema and three districts of Uttarandhra, excluding Tirupati and Visakhapatnam Corporations) and 89.20 lakh SCs, STs and 24.60 lakh Antyodaya Anna Yojanas (AAYs) in the remaining six erstwhile districts.

The State government also decided to include poor beneficiaries in the newly-formed Prakasam district in the scheme. Under the scheme, free rice will be distributed to 2.68 crore people at the depots from 3.30 pm. Steps are being taken to distribute coupons to all the beneficiaries in advance through volunteers.

At present, the State is implementing the one rupee per kg rice scheme for 4.23 crore beneficiaries through PDS. He clarified that the scheme will continue as usual and rice will be distributed through vehicles at the beneficiaries’ homes. Out of 4.23 crore beneficiaries of PDS, 2.68 crore are covered in the PMGKAY.

The Civil Supplies Minister said that the Chief Minister had written a letter to the Prime Minister seeking permission to implement PMGKAY to all eligible persons in the state. As per the recommendations of NITI Aayog and the recommendations of the ministerial sub-committee, steps have been taken to continue the PMGKAY in the state.

In the previous TDP regime, 12,000 crore was spent by the department in five years for ration distribution, but in just three years, the YSRC government spent16,000 crore.As many as 7,051 new ration cards have been issued, the minister said. Civil Supplies Commissioner Girijashankar, Civil Supplies Corporation MD Veerapandian and other officials were present.

1.68 four erstwhile districts of Rayalaseema and 3 districts of Uttarandhra
89.20 lakh SCs, STs and 24.60 lakh ANYs in 6 districts
beneficiaries in newly-formed Prakasam district
4.23 crore PDS beneficiaries
2.68 crore under PMGKAY