New Delhi: To ensure sufficient supply during the lockdown owing to the COVID-19 outbreak, the central government on Wednesday decided to increase the monthly quota of subsidised foodgrains by 2 kg to 7 kg per person through ration shops for 80 crore beneficiaries.
A decision in this regard was taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) headed by prime minister Narendra Modi.
"The government has decided to provide 7 kg per person of foodgrains to 80 crore people under the Public Distribution System (PDS)," Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar told media persons after the Cabinet meeting.
"The cost of wheat is Rs 27/kg, which will be provided at a subsidised rate of Rs 2/kg, while the cost of rice is about Rs 32/kg but will be supplied at Rs 3/kg through ration shops," he said.
All states have been asked to take foodgrains from the Centre in advance for distribution through the PDS, he added.
Under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), the government is supplying 5 kg of foodgrains per month to over 80 crore people at a highly subsidised price.
The decision to allocate additional foodgrains through the PDS has been taken as state-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) is saddled with wheat and rice stock.
With some foodgrains stock kept in open space, the FCI is under pressure to clear stock before monsoon.