Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that the Cabinet decision on fortified rice is in line with the government’s efforts to improve nutrition levels and promote the well-being of Nari Shakti (empowering women) as well as Yuva Shakti (empowering young people). “Cabinet’s decision on fortified rice is in line with our efforts to improve nutrition levels and support the well-being of our Nari Shakti as well as Yuva Shakti,” the Prime Minister tweeted.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has today given its approval for the procurement of fortified rice under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), services Integrated Child Development Programs (ICDS), Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman-PM POSHAN (Former Midday Meal Scheme (MDM) and Other Government of India Social Welfare Schemes (OWS) in all states and territories of India Union (UT) by 2024 in a phased manner The full cost of rice fortification (approximately Rs 2,700 crore per annum) would be borne by the Government of India under a food subsidy until its implementation fully implemented until June 2024, according to government data.
Three phases are envisaged for the full implementation of the initiative. Phase I includes coverage of ICDS and PM POSHAN across India by March 2022 which is being implemented. Phase II includes Phase I above plus TPDS and OWS in all aspirational and high stunting burden districts (291 districts in total) by March 2023. Phase III includes Phase II above and covers the remaining districts of the country by March 2024. As part of vigorous implementation efforts, the Department of Food and Public Distribution has coordinated all ecosystem-related activities with all relevant stakeholders such as State/UT Government, Line Ministries/Departments, Development Partners, Industries, Research Institutions, etc. The FCI and state agencies are already engaged in the procurement of fortified rice and so far nearly 88.65 LMT of fortified rice have been procured for supply and distribution.
The Prime Minister of India, in his speech on the 75th Independence Day (15th August 2021), made an announcement on rice fortification to provide nutrition to every poor person in the country to overcome malnutrition and lack of essential nutrients in women, children, nursing mothers, etc., as this poses major obstacles to their development. Previously, the centralized pilot program on “Rice Fortification and Distribution through a Public Distribution System” was implemented for a period of three years from 2019-20. Eleven (11) States – Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand have successfully distributed the fortified rice in their identified districts (one district per state) in the under the pilot program. (ANI)
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