JAIPUR: In Rajasthan, the Gehlot government will provide 10 kilos of wheat per person to 60 lakh needy people who are not covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). For this purpose, the Rajasthan government will purchase wheat at the rate of Rs 21 per Kg from the Food Corporation of India (FCI).
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said that the state is not receiving adequate food grains from the centre. Gehlot argued that according to current population estimates, Rajasthan should get an additional monthly allocation of 30,000 metric tonnes of wheat and he has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to raise this demand.
The Chief Minister made this announcement through a video conference with media persons wherein he confirmed that all the needy families will be given 10 kilos of wheat free of cost.
Gehlot remarked, "Till now, about 60 lakh people were not getting wheat but our government will buy wheat at the rate of Rs. 21/Kg for the benefit of these people. Under NFSA, 5 crore people of our state should get free foodgrains with each person getting 10 kilos of wheat. But the Central government is giving us less food grains than what we need and there are complaints of lack of wheat at ration shops".
He further added, ‘‘Our government is determined that in our fight against the Corona pandemic, we must ensure that no one sleeps hungry.’’
In his letter to Prime Minister Modi, Gehlot has pointed out that the foodgrains allotted to the state is done under the Census of 2011 but according to current population estimates, over 54 lakh people are denied the benefits they deserve under the NFSA. The Centre should give greater allocation of wheat to the state keeping in mind these needy people who currently remain uncovered. If the allocation is done on the basis of current population, Rajasthan should get an additional monthly allocation of 30,000 metric tonnes of wheat.
In his letter, Gehlot asserts, "Under NFSA, the state’s population is calculated at 6 crore and 86 lakhs on the basis of 2011 population estimates. As a result, 4.46 crore people of the state are given a monthly allocation of 2 lakh, 32 thousand and 631 metric tonnes of wheat. However, the population of the state according to 2019 estimates has risen to 7 crore 74 lakh and if this is used as the basis to calculate, 5.04 crore people should be covered under the social security net of the NFSA".
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot says that given the economic slump due to the Corona pandemic, lakhs of poor and needy people, including migrants and daily wage earners have become more vulnerable as they have become unemployed. In this crisis, he further added that the Centre should consider the plight of such people more seriously and bring people under the NFSA in as per the current population figures and allocate additional wheat for the state accordingly.
Chief Minister Gehlot concluded that in the Video Conference with PM Modi on April 27, a decision about the lockdown will be taken. However, Gehlot asserted that in that Video Conference, he would raise the critical issue of helping migrant workers. He hoped that the issue of migrants in general and the Centre’s permission for the return of migrant workers from Rajasthan, in particular, will be a prime agenda in the Video Conference with the PM.