State governments have been given time till August to distribute free ration allocated for returning migrant workers under the Atmanirbhar package, Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Thursday.
More time has been given to states for distribution as only 29 per cent of the 8 lakh tonne of foodgrains and 39,000 tonne of chana allocated for returning migrant workers under this special package have actually reached migrants during May and June.
This special allocation was made by the Centre in May for just two months amid criticism over migrants workers' exodus from urban centres.
"So far, only 2,32,433 tonne of foodgrains and 10,645 tonne of chana has been distributed by states. The remaining stock is still with the states. ...We have extended till August," Paswan told reporters.
Against the target of 8 crore migrant labourers, Paswan said free ration has reached to only 2.32 crore migrant workers in May, while 2.14 crore in June.
Maximum returning migrants have been covered in Bihar at 86 lakh followed by Rajasthan over 32 lakh. West Bengal has distributed to 20.80 lakh people, he added.
Paswan said there is no shortage of foodgrains with the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to meet the demand under the National Food Security Act, Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana and Atmanirbhar Bharat package.
As on July 8, the state-run FCI was holding a foodgrain stock of 812.51 lakh tonne, of which rice was 267.29 lakh tonne and wheat 545.22 lakh tonne, he said.
FCI has so far procured 389.45 lakh tonne of wheat in the 2020-21 rabi marketing season (April-March), and 748.55 lakh tonne of paddy in the 2019-20 Kharif season, he added.