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Government committed to the welfare of the farmers, migrant workers and consumers
Monday, 22 February, 2021, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Railways and Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal addressed the virtual conference on ‘Initiatives being undertaken in Departments of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution'. Speaking on the budgetary provisions for Department of Consumer Affairs and Food and Public Distribution, Goyal said that the Government is committed for the welfare of the farmers, migrant workers and consumers. This budget has special provision for the poor, the farmers and the migrant workers, the ones who provided the nation support during difficult times.

He said that these measures reiterate higher commitment of the present Government towards farmers’ and their produce. He said the budget of 2021-22 under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi expresses the confidence of India and all set to spread a new wave of ‘AtmaNirbharta’ across the globe.

Addressing the Media, Goyal said, "Union Budget 2021 touches the life of common man. The budget takes care of the poor people who is at bottom of the pyramid. This budget instils a new hope for new India. In the last 7 years, MSP payment was all-time high during 2020-2021. Rs 75000 crore were paid to wheat farmers benefitting 43.46 lacs farmers. 1.72 lac crore were paid as MSP for paddy to 1.54 crore farmers.”

On Consumer Protection Act,  the minister said an empowered consumer will transform the country into empowered nation. Stressing on digitisation and modernisation in PDS, the Minister said that “procurement, distribution is being done in the most transparent manner."

Goyal applauded the efforts of both departments under Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution during Covid-19. He expressed his happiness that the departments successfully implemented scheme of distribution of free food grains to NFSA beneficiaries and Stranded Migrant labours during this period.

Applauding the implementation of Consumer Protection Act- 2019, he said that this act has replaced the 33 year old act and it significantly strengthens the rights of consumers and have several new features including simplification of complaints filing, dispute adjudication process and alternate dispute resolution mechanism.

Goyal said that under this act the sale of adulterated and spurious goods will be strictly acted upon and this act provides regulation for the unfair trade practices in e-commerce.

Goyal said that the allocation for sugar industry significantly increased to about 6000 crore. He said Government has allowed to export 60 lakh MT sugar and Rs 6 per kg as subsidy is directly paid in the account of sugar cane farmers. The diversion of excess sugar and utilisation of food grains to ethanol for blending with petrol will help in timely payment to sugarcane farmers and increase income of farmers and also to make India Atmnirbhar in petroleum sector.

While replying to a query raised by a media persons, Goyal said that One Nation One Ration Card scheme is a big success. He said at present, an average of about 1.5 crore portability transactions (both inter-State and intra-State transactions) are being recorded on a monthly basis. He further informed that integration of remaining 4 States/UT (Assam, Chhattisgarh, Delhi and West Bengal is targeted up to March 31, 2021. But it is depending upon the technical readiness of the States/UTs in terms of availability of ePoS devices and operationalisation of biometric authentication of beneficiaries. Department is continuously coordinating with these State/UT Governments.

While replying another question Goyal said that NFSA adequately taken care of food grain requirement of the needy persons. The vision of the Government (for ensuring food security for AatmaNirbhar Bharat) is to ensure that nobody goes to bed hungry. This is being ensured through timely supply of food grains for NFSA beneficiaries through the Fair Price Shops across the country as well as through implementation of One National One Ration Card (national portability), which doubly ensures that all the migrant population (migrant and stranded labour) can draw their ration anywhere in the country.
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