Cabinet Approves Scheme to Distribute Fortified Rice Under Govt Schemes

It has been reported that The Union Cabinet on Friday approved a scheme to distribute fortified rice under government programmes which was announced by the Prime Minister in his Independence Day speech.

The entire cost of rice fortification – around Rs 2,700 crore per annum – would be borne by the government of India as part of food subsidy till its full implementation upto June, 2024. This is less than 2% of national food subsidy, the report said.

The distribution will happen throughout the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) in three phases under Food Security Act (NFSA), Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman-PM POSHAN [erstwhile Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDM)] and Other Welfare Schemes (OWS) of Government of India in all States and Union Territories (UTs) by 2024 in a phased manner, the report said.

The Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state agencies are already engaged in procurement of fortified rice and so far nearly 88.65 LMT of fortified rice has been procured for supply and distribution.

Earlier, the scheme sponsored by the government of India on “Fortification of Rice and its Distribution under Public Distribution System” was implemented for three years beginning from 2019-20, in 11 states Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand successfully distributed the fortified rice in their identified districts (one district per State) under the pilot scheme, the report said.

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has finalised standards for Fortified Rice Kernnels (FRK), fortified rice and Machinaries. Around 55 NABL laboratories are capable of testing fortified rice, said department of food distribution. (Economic Times)