Only 15% of poor households received pulses
As against 1.96 lakh tonnes, only 30,000 tonnes have been distributed so far
- Only 15% of poor households have received the 1 kg of pulses promised for April under the Centre’s COVID-19 welfare package, according to an analysis of government agency data.
- Of the 1.96 lakh tonnes of pulses that should have been given to over 19 crore households, only 30,000 tonnes have been distributed so far, according to the Consumer Affairs Department.
- Distribution is likely to speed up by the first week of May, with delays caused by the fact that the government only stores unmilled pulses in its godowns, and has had to start a massive milling operation before delivering them to ration shops.
- All 80 crore National Food Security Act beneficiaries were to get an extra 5 kg of rice or wheat each month, while each household was to get 1 kg of pulses.
- Given that all States already distribute rice and wheat through a well-established Public Distribution System, with grain provided from a network of Food Corporation of India warehouses, distribution of the extra grain began early in April. However, distribution to more than 19 crore families was stalled by several hurdles.
- The National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation is the nodal agency which procures and stores a buffer stock of pulses.
- To provide the necessary 5.88 lakh tonnes of cleaned and milled pulses under the scheme, NAFED pressed over 100 mills into service to process 8.5 lakh tonnes of unmilled pulses lying in about 165 godowns.
- Availability of trucks and labour for loading and unloading has been a major problem. Of the 1.96 lakh tonnes needed for April, about 1.45 lakh tonnes have been offered to States already.