Only 20.26 lakh migrant workers of the targeted 8 crore such labourers have received free food grains in May and June (2020), according to data released by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution on Sunday.
The benefits to be doled out fall under the Centre's Atma Nirbhar Bharat package as part of the Rs 20 lakh crore special economic stimulus package announced by the Modi government.
Migrant workers who were not covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) or any other state-run PDS scheme are slated to receive free food grains under this scheme (AtmaNirbhar Bharat) for two months (May and June).
"Under Atma Nirbhar Bharat package, Government of India has decided that 8 LMT food grains will be provided to about 8 Crore migrant labourers, stranded and needy families, who are not covered under NFSA or Statescheme PDS cards," the Consumer Affairs Ministry said in its report.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had earlier said at a press conference after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement that "non-card holders shall be given 5 kg wheat or rice per person and 1 kg chana per family per month for the next 2 months. About 8 crore migrants will benefit from this scheme that will cost the government Rs 3,500 crore."
However, the report (released on June 7) said that, "the states and UTs have lifted 4.42 LMT of food grains and distributed 10,131 MT of food grains to 20.26 lakh beneficiaries."
The report further stated that "the Government of India also approved 39,000 MT pulses for 1.96 crore migrant families...around 28,306 MT gram/dal has been dispatched to the states and UTs. A total of 15,413 MT gram has been lifted by various States and UTs."
The ministry highlighted in the report that the state governments have distributed only 631 MT (metric tonnes) of gram/dal so far.
The Centre had earlier said that due to the continued movement of migrant labourers, the states will be responsible for identifying such migrants and distributing food grains among them.
The centre has claimed that it is bearing 100% financial burden of approximately Rs 3,109 crore for food grain and Rs 280 crore for grams/chana under this scheme.