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Detailed Discussion Forum
Distribution of Free Foodgrains and Pulses to Migrant Labourers

Under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Scheme (ANBS) for supply of free foodgrains to the migrants/stranded migrants and all those who were neither covered under the National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) nor under any other State PDS scheme, since no data of actual number of migrants/stranded migrants was available in the Department, therefore, a liberal estimate of about 8 Cr. such persons were made by the Department (10% of approx. 80 Cr. NFSA population) and a liberal allocation of 8 LMT foodgrains (Rice/Wheat) for two months – May and June 2020 was made to States/UTs to cover maximum of migrants/stranded migrant persons under the scheme. During the initial identification of eligible persons under ANBS, the States/UTs collectively indicated about 2.8 Cr. migrants’ population to be potentially covered under the scheme. But as the process of identification and targeting of migrants/stranded migrants took substantial time in most of the States/UTs, the Government had extended the distribution period of already lifted foodgrains by States/UTs up to 31st August 2020. Thus, as per the details available from States/UTs, an average of about 2.67 Cr. persons for each of the two months of May and June 2020 have received about 2.67 LMT foodgrains under the scheme. Further, about 39,101.51 MT of chana whole (gram) was also allocated under the scheme, out of which 16,639.73 MT were distributed by States/UTs to migrants/stranded migrants up to 31.08.2020.

The responsibility of identification of migrants/ stranded migrants and other needy persons and distribution of foodgrains to them under ANBS was entrusted to States/UTs, they were given complete freedom to issue their own guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to districts/field level functionaries to identify any person who didn’t possess any central/state scheme ration card or was not able to access foodgrains due to crisis. Rigorous efforts were made by States/UTs and many of them also collaborated with their counterpart Labour Departments, District Administrations, Civil Societies, Industrial Associations, NGOs and other welfare organizations to identify and distribute foodgrains to maximum migrants/stranded migrant persons anywhere in their State/UT may be in labour camps, construction sites, persons in transit, quarantine centers, shelter homes, etc.

This information was given in a written reply by the Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs Food and Public Distribution, Shri Danve Raosaheb Dadarao in Rajya Sabha today.