Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar has said that the ambitious scheme of the One Nation-One Ration Card across the country has brought a lot of relief to the poor. Shri Tomar said that through Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana, the Central Government has provided free food grains to the poor, worth Rs 3.90 lakh crore, whereas under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, underlining its commitment to the welfare of the farmers, the government has made a record purchase of Rs 2.75 lakh crore on MSP in 2021-22.
Referring to the achievements related to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Agriculture, Union Minister Shri Tomar said that the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana launched to ameliorate the hardships faced by the poor due to economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic and to minimize its impact on food security, the Government led by Prime Minister Shri Modi had announced in March 2020 the distribution of additional free-of-cost foodgrains (Rice/Wheat) to about 80 Crore National Food Security Act (NFSA), Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) & Priority Households (PHH) beneficiaries at the scale of 5 Kg per person per month under the PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PM-GKAY), under which 1118 LMT foodgrains have been allocated to States/UTs so far, with an expenditure of over Rs.3.90 lakh crore. The 7th Phase (October-December, 2022) of PMGKAY is ongoing in the States/UTs.
Shri Tomar informed that various schemes including One Nation-One Ration Card, distribution of fortified rice, targeted public distribution and other schemes of the Center are being extended to all the beneficiaries. Giving details about the progress of One Nation-One Ration Card scheme, he said that starting with portability among 4 states in August 2019, till now the scheme has been rolled out in all 36 States/UTs, which includes about 80 crore NFSA beneficiaries i.e. about 100 percent of the country’s NFSA population. Since the launch of the ONORC scheme in Aug-2019, more than 93 crore portability transactions have been registered under the scheme, in which more than 177 LMT food grains have been distributed. During the year 2022, 39 crore portability transactions were done in 11 months, in which more than 80 LMT food grains have been distributed including inter-state and intra-state portability transactions of NFSA and PMGKAY.
He said that in order to increase the nutritional value of rice and its scope, the announcement was made by the Prime Minister on the 75th Independence Day (15 August 2021) to provide nutrition by providing fortified rice under all government schemes. The implementation of the first phase covering ICDS, PM Poshan in the States/UTs started in FY 2021-22. Under ICDS and PM Poshan, 17.51 lakh metric tonnes of fortified rice has been distributed.
The implementation of the second phase started from April 2022. States have taken 16.79 LMT rice. The implementation of the third phase will start from the year 2023-24, in which some remaining districts of the country will also be covered. He said that under the reform of Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), 100 percent NFSA ration card/beneficiary data has been digitized in all States/UTs. Details of 19.5 crore ration cards covering about 80 crore beneficiaries are available on the transparency portal of the States/UTs.
More than 99.5 per cent ration cards are linked with Aadhaar (at least one member of the household). 99.8% (5.33 lakh out of 5.34 lakh) Fair Price Shops are being automated with the use of electronic point-of-sale devices for transparent, assuring distribution of subsidized food grains to the beneficiaries.
Union Minister informed that 339.88 LMT paddy (227.82 LMT in case of rice) has been procured at MSP during Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2022-23 up to 4th December 2022 at a cost of Rs. 70,000 crore, benefitting 30 lakh farmers. While paddy procurement in Kharif was 475 LMT in 2013-14, this has increased to 759 LMT in 2021-22 (an increase of 60%). There has been an increase of 132 percent in the procurement price in eight years (now the total value is about Rs 1.5 lakh crore). At the same time, during the Rabi Marketing Season (RMS) 2022-23, 187.92 LMT wheat has been procured, benefiting about 17 lakh farmers, with an MSP of about Rs 38 thousand crore. Rabi procurement was 251 LMT in 2013-14, which has increased to 433.44 LMT in 2021-22 (73 percent increase). In eight years, there has been an increase of 152 percent in the purchase price (now the total price is about Rs. 85 thousand crore). Shri Tomar informed that the total procurement of food grains (including wheat, paddy and pulses) was 759.44 lakh tonnes in the year 2014-15, which has increased to 1345.45 lakh tonnes in 2021-22. Similarly, in 2014-15, the expenditure in terms of MSP value and total procurement was Rs 1.06 lakh crore, which increased to Rs 2.75 lakh crore in 2021-22 under the Modi government. In the year 2015-16, 78.3 lakh farmers were benefited from the procurement of food grains, which increased to 194 lakh (number of farmers) in the year 2021-22. Similarly, 13 lakh tonnes of coarse grains have also been procured in 7 states during the year.
Shri Tomar said that the Indian sugar industry is an important agro-based industry, involving 5 crore sugarcane farmers. Today the annual production of the Indian sugar industry is about Rs 1,40,000 crore. In sugar season 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20, 6.2 LMT, 38 LMT and 59.60 LMT sugar has been exported respectively. About 70 LMT has been exported against the target of 60 LMT in sugar season 2020-21. In the sugar season 2021-22, India has exported more than 110 LMT sugar and has become the largest producer and second largest exporter of sugar in the world. As a result of the measures taken by the Government, till 29 November 2022, out of total cane price arrears of Rs 1,18,271 crore for the sugar season 2021-22, Rs 1,14,981 crore has been cleared to the farmers, thus more than 97% cane arrears have been cleared. Regarding ethanol blending plan in petrol, Shri Tomar said that the government has set a target of 10 per cent blending of fuel grade ethanol with petrol by 2022 and 20 per cent blending by 2025. The existing capacity of ethanol production in the country (till 31.10.2022) has jumped to 925 crore litres. He informed that India has made a significant jump in the Ease Of Doing Business (EODB) ranking of the World Bank. Among 190 countries in the EODB Report 2020, India has jumped from 134th position in 2013 to 63rd, i.e. a jump of 71 ranks from 2013.