The Punjab government is all set to implement the Atmanirbhar scheme to provide free ration to 14 lakh migrants, who are not covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). The scheme will also be applicable for Punjab residents who are not covered under NFSA.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, lakhs of migrant workers have been returning to their hometowns across the country. From Punjab, nearly three lakh migrants have returned to their home states.
While 17.7 lakh migrants had registered on the government portal to return home, three lakh have left via trains and over a lakh left by buses. Several others also left on foot or private vehicles. For the 14 lakh migrants still staying in the state, 2 months of free ration will be provided under the scheme, reported The Indian Express.
"As per Centre's announcement, they will be getting 10 kg wheat per person and 2 kg chana dal per family — supply meant for 2 months which will be given at one go. But we have decided to give them grounded wheat flour instead of whole wheat and instead of 2 kg chana dal per family, we will be giving them 1 kg dal per person. One kg sugar per family has been added from our side," Anindita Mitra, Director Food and Civil Supplies Department, Punjab, told the media.
According to Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu, they will start distribution from May 27 from Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Sangrur.
"Though we had distributed 15 lakh ration packets last month as well, but we believe that this fresh supply will make many of them (migrants) stay back," he said.
As few of the migrants are now in various shelter houses made by district administrations, the authorities are in the process of compiling the list of beneficiaries and locating them.
Of the 1.41 crore smart card holders in the state, 64 per cent have already got wheat and dal as per their entitlement under PDS. The 14 lakh migrants and those not covered under NFSA will be given wheat flour, dal and sugar for free for 2 months time period, Mitra said.
The Food and Civil Supplies Department of Punjab has already earmarked 14,144 MT wheat and 692.21 MT pulses for this. In addition, the Punjab government has announced that that they will be distributing 14 lakh dry ration packets to the urban poor. As per their records, they had distributed 15 lakh dry ration packets last month.Also Read: Lok Janshakti Party To Sponsor Education Of Bihar Girl Who Cycled 1,200 Km With Injured Father