PMGKAY should be restarted in the interests of poor and farmers: BJD

TNI Bureau: Vice President of BJD Debi Prasad Mishra said that it was good that the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) was started to provide additional 5 kgs free rice per person apart from the 5kg rice of NFSA per person. However, stopping it by Centre will affect the Household Food Security of the poor as well as the farmers.

While addressing a press meet today the senior leader of the State ruling party said that the recent budget has seen a reduction in food subsidy by about Rs. 71,000 crores as compared to the amount spent by the Centre in 2021-22. This will affect the household food security of the poor. This reduction is primarily due to the stopping of PMGKAY programme.

After the COVID pandemic, the industries and livelihood is still to come back to normalcy. The poor had lost whatever little savings they had in the pandemic. Economic life hasn’t returned to normal. Stopping of PMGKAY now will affect the poor and their chance to get their live back to normalcy after pandemic, he added.

He further said that the farmers will also get affected by the stopping of PMGKAY. The recent budget has also seen a reduction of about Rs.20,000 Crores as compared to the amount spent by the Centre in 2021-22 in the procurementof foodgrains. This is again due to the stopping of PMGKAY and therefore reduction in procurement from farmers. This reduction will impact farmers. Due to reduction in procurement, the farmers will also b deprived of getting their Minimum Support Price (MSP) for sale of foodgrains.

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In the interests of the poor and the farmers, we appeal to the Centre to restart the PMGKAY programme, Mishra said.

He also hoped that the BJP MPs will take up this matter before their party in Centre and emphasize the need for restarting PMGKAY in the larger interests of the household food security of the poor and the sale of foodgrains by the farmers.

After providing PMGKAY for two years, its sudden withdrawal will severely affect the poor. Before stopping such a huge programme, the Centre should have either provided an alternate programme or taken care of the financial adverse impact it could cause to the poor. In this case neither was done, Mishra said.

We appeal to the Centre to rethink on these lines and restart the PMGKAY programme in the interests of the poor and the farmers, he added.

BJD Spokespersons Lenin Mohanty and Harish Choudhary were also present in this Press meet.

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