Shimla, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Commerce & Industries Piyush Goyal today said that all befitting initiatives and measures shall be initiated and supplemented to ensure holistic socio economic development of the state of Himachal Pradesh. He said union government led by Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a special place in his heart for the people of Himachal Pradesh. The Minister arrived here yesterday on a three day official visit to the State.
Addressing press conference at Hotel Peterhoff here this evening, Goyal said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s entire 20 years of public service in Gujarat and as Prime Minister has been completely dedicated for upliftment of the poor and the downtrodden. He added that PM Modi has been working hard to make India a strong and vibrant Nation amongst the comity of the nations.
He said that Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojna (PMGKAY) was a big initiative by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi aimed at providing food security to the poor, migrant labourers and unemployed in the challenging times of Covid-19 pandemic. He added that about 80 crore population of the country was benefitted under PMGKAY.
Union Minister stated that in order to provide relief to the poor section of the society in view of the economic instability in the country due to Covid-19, the Government of India again provided 5 kg of food grains per person per month free of cost under National Food Security Act (NFSA).
He said that this scheme was implemented by May 2021 and initially it was till June 2021, but thereafter the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana was extended by the Government of India for the next 5 months from July to November, 2021.
Union Minister informed that food grains worth more than Rs. 366 crore have been distributed to the state in the year 2020-21 whereas, for the year 2021-22, food grains worth about Rs. 277 crore have been distributed to the State. He said that the State Government had been providing additional subsidy on edible oil to provide relief to the consumers.
Goyal said that Himachal was probably the first State to implement ‘One Nation One Ration Card scheme, that has become game changer in ensuring food security to the beneficiaries, at any place in the country.
Pertinently, more than 7 lakh ration card holders were being covered under the National Food Security Act, thereby covering more than 29 lakh population under this scheme. A total of more than 12 lakh APL ration card holders were also being benefitted under this scheme, thereby covering a population of more than 44 lakhs in the State. Under the scheme, 69,000 MT of rice and 42,000 MT of wheat were distributed for free allocation in the year 2020-21 in the state. In addition, more than 5000 MT of black gram were also allotted to the NFSA families.
During the question answer session, the Minister talked about lucrative offers of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India, potential for exports, prospects of increase in trade, commerce and industrialization in the coming times in view of the Union Government’s visionary policies led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He also talked about National Single Window mechanism developed in consultation with all stakeholders that is going to facilitate the traders, industrial houses, MSMEs and other stakeholders for Ease of Doing Business.