DHENKANAL: Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday laid stress on transparent and timely distribution of rice and foodgrains under various government schemes to the poor. Addressing a public meeting at Saptasajya here, Pradhan said of the total population of 130 crore in the country, 80 crore people are being provided Rs 5 kg rice free under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY). The unique scheme has been lauded by global organisations. On the day, the Union Minister visited a retail shop and distributed 5 kg rice to beneficiaries.
Pradhan, who is on a three-day tour to Dhenkanal to take stock of the progress of various welfare programmes of the Centre in the district, also said Rs 3.5 lakh crore has been spent under the Yojana. “The scheme has been implemented in the country since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic. It will continue for another six months as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said.
Pradhan said he has come to Dhenkanal after being deputed by the Prime Minister to review implementation of Central schemes in areas covered under the Aspirational Districts Programme. Launched by the Prime Minister in January 2018, the programme aims to bring rapid transformation in most under-developed districts of the country. From April 6 to 20, Pradhan said, Union Ministers are visiting various parts of the country to review the progress of various welfare programmes launched by the Centre.
Speaking to mediapersons later on the day, the Union Minister condemned the recent attacks on Dhenkanal municipality chairperson Jayanti Patra. “What is worrying is the silence of law enforcing agencies in dealing with the post-poll violence. In a democracy, defeat and victory are part of elections. Violence has no place in democracy,” he added. Pradhan also visited the Central school and BJP office in Dhenkanal before leaving for Talcher.