Bhubaneswar: The ruling BJD on Friday appealed to the Union government to restore the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) in the interest of the poor and the farmers.
BJD Senior Vice President Debi Prasad Mishra told a press conference here that PMGKAY was started to provide additional 5 kgs free rice per person apart from the 5kg rice per person under NFSA.
He said after providing PMGKAY for two years, the centre had suddenly withdrawn it severely affecting the poor people of the state.
The Centre, Mishra said should have either provided an alternate scheme or taken care of the financial adverse impact it could cause to the poor following withdrawal of the scheme.
He said the recent budget has seen a reduction in food subsidy by about Rs. 71,000 crores as compared to the amount spent by the Centre in 2021-22. This will affect the household food security of the poor.
The farmers, he said, will also be affected due to the withdrawal of the PMGKAY scheme.
The recent budget, Mishra said has also seen a reduction of about Rs.20,000 crores as compared to the amount spent by the Centre in 2021-22 in the procurement of food grains.
He further said the reduction of the amount in the budget in procurement from farmers, will deprive the farmers of the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for sale of food grains.
He asked the BJP MPs from Odisha to take up the matter with the centre and emphasize the need for restarting PMGKAY in the larger interests of the household food security of the poor and the sale of foodgrains by the farmers.