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Ensuring transportation of food grains for distributing free-of-cost to over 80 crore beneficiaries of PDS under NFSA and around eight crore migrants during the nationwide lockdown is the biggest achievement of the Central government, said Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan.
On the completion of one year of the second term of the Modi government, the Minister on Saturday listed the achievements and initiatives of the Ministry during this period.
Under PMGKAY, for 3 months a total of 104.4 LMT (lakh metric tonne) rice and 15.6 LMT wheat is required of which 84.95 LMT rice and 12.91 LMT wheat have been lifted by various states and UTs.
A total of 97.87 LMT food grain has been lifted till May 29. Along with additional food grains, 1 kg pulses/dal per family per month is being given free-of-cost to all 80 crore NFSA beneficiaries for a period of three months April to June 2020 across all states/UTs.
Paswan said the total requirement for pulses for three months is 5.87 LMT. So far, 4.77 LMT pulses have been dispatched while 3.80 LMT pulses have reached states/UTs. As on Many 29, 1.75 LMT pulses have been distributed by the States/UTs.
He said the FCI and NAFED have undertaken a massive exercise transporting food grains to states and UTs for distribution under Atmanirbhar scheme, PM-GKAY and NFSA.
The progress of national portability of NFSA ration cards holders under "One Nation One Ration Card" plan is also an achievement of the Food Ministry. The scheme has already been introduced in 17 states/UTs. The Ministry aims to achieve 100 per cent seeding of ration cards with Aadhaar under the 'One Nation One Ration Card' scheme by January 2021.
To meet the increased demand for sanitizers and masks, the Minister said the government has also allowed production of ethanol from sugar and sugar syrup for current ethanol supply year 2019-20 (December, 2019-November, 2020) in order to meet the increased demand for ethyl alcohol.
Paswan said 165 distilleries and 962 independent manufacturers were given licences to produce hand-sanitizers across the country, which has resulted in production of 87,20,262 litres of hand-sanitizers (as on May 11).
He said that in wake Covid-19, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) allowed the grant of licence to the manufacturers of FFP2 masks as per IS 9473:2002 (which are technically equivalent to N95 masks), with relaxation regarding availability of in-house testing facilities.
The Minister said the patent has been granted to National Sugar Institute (NSI) Kanpur for a new process on Sugarcane Juice Clarification to obtain sulphur-less sugar.
About the Centrally sponsored pilot scheme on 'Fortification of Rice and its Distribution under PDS,' Paswan said a total budget outlay of the scheme has been revised to Rs 174.64 crore from the earlier outlay of Rs 147.61 crore. The pilot Scheme is to focus on 15 districts, preferably one district per state.
The Minister said that the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in its meeting held on December 2, 2019, approved the proposal for increasing the authorized capital of FCI from Rs 3,500 crore to Rs 10,000 crore.
He also mentioned that the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) under his Ministry has achieved highest-ever turnover of about Rs 1,710 crore during 2019-20. The government has received Rs 35.77 crores out of the total dividend of Rs 64.98 crore.
Consumer Protection Bill, 2019 was passed both Houses on last year. The President gave his assent to the Consumer Protection Bill 2019 and the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 was published on the official gazette in August last year.
Also, the Legal Metrology (National Standards) Rules, 2011 were amended to include new definitions of International System of Units (SI units) of weights and measures as per the definitions adopted by International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) vide GSR 474 (E) dated July 5, 2019.
The Minister said the hallmarking for gold jewellery and artefacts has been made mandatory in the country, giving a period of one year for implementation.