Odisha’s BJD Leader Seeks Revival Of PMGKAY To Ensure Food Security

Bhubaneswar: Taking exception to a ‘massive cut’ in the allocation for food security in the annual budget presented in the Parliament on Thursday, Odisha’s Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has sought revival of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY).

Speaking to media persons in Bhubaneswar on Friday, vice-president of the ruling party in the state Debi Prasad Mishra said the allocation for the food security in the budget has been brought down by about Rs 71,000 crore compared to the amount spent in 2021-22.

The budget allocation has been reduced as the MPGKAY has been stopped, he said adding that it would affect the food security of the poor people as well as the farmers. The discontinuation of 5 kg free rice per person provided under the PMGKAY besides 5 kg rice under National Food Security Act (NFSA) would have a catastrophic effect the deprived sections of the society, Mishra said.

The BJD leader also expressed his concern over reduced budget allocation for food grain procurement as it would affect the farmers. “The Union Finance Minister has cut down the budget provision for foodgrains procurement by around Rs 20,000 crore. It would push the farmers to go for distress sale of their produce as they would not get the minimum support price announced by the government,” he said.

Stating that the economy was yet to put on track after it was derailed due to the COVID pandemic, Mishra said the earning sources of the labourers have not been fully restored while the poor people have been left with depleted saving.

Under the circumstances, the BJD leader appealed to the Centre to revive the PMGKAY in the interest of the poor people in the country.

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