BJD urges Centre to restart providing FREE Rice to PMGKAY Beneficiaries

Bhubaneswar: The state ruling party Biju Janata Dal (BJD) today urged the Centre to restart providing free rice to the Pradhan Mantri GaribKalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) beneficiaries.

While addressing a press meet today, BJD MP and National Spokesperson Dr. Sasmit Patra said that 10 kgs of rice per person per month was being provided to 3.25 crore people of Odisha, 5 kg under National Food Security Act (NFSA) and 5 kg under the PMGKAY. However the Centre has now stopped the PMGKAY.

The Centre stopping 5kg free rice/person per month under PMGKAY will badly affect the poor and farmers, he said adding that it will adversely affect individual households and families.

The BJD Parliamentarian further stated that the poor needed the PMGKAY support for a much longer time as all their savings exhausted during the COVID pandemic. Why is the Centre slashing the food security of the poor, he questioned.

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Speaking about the benefits the farmers were getting due to PMGKAY, Patra said, “Additional 5 kgs rice per person led to rice procurement by Centre. Thereby the farmers could sell their surplus rice and benefit from the MSP paid to them towards it. Now the farmers of Odisha face a grave challenge due to the Centre stopping the PMGKAY. No more additional procurement of rice, no more MSP to farmers. Where will they sell their produce?”

The BJD MP further claimed that many eligible families of Odisha are deprived and should be included in the programme but the Centre has not considered them even after so many years.

Dr. Patra emphasized that the Biju Janata Dal strongly condemns this anti-poor, anti-farmer and anti-family attitude of the BJP led Centre in depriving lakhs of families of Odisha and slashing their monthly rice allocation by half and demand that the PMGKAY should be continued in the interests of the individual families and their wellness.

He further asserted that Biju Janata Dal strongly demands that PMGKAY should be immediately restarted from this month onwards as its stopping will adversely affect the food security of crores of poor people not only in Odisha but also across India, especially after COVID.

“The BJD will continue to strongly demand restarting of PMGKAY in Parliament as well as other forums till the Centre agrees to our demand. It will also help the farmers and ensure rice procurement and MSP to them,” Dr. Patra added.

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