With the aim of providing nutrition to every poor person of the country to overcome malnutrition and lack of essential nutrients in women, children, lactating mothers, the Cabinet has approved distribution of fortified rice across the government schemes at an estimated cost of Rs 2,700 crore per year.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has accorded its approval for supply of fortified rice throughout the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) under the National 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 entire cost of rice fortification is estimated to be around Rs 2,700 crore per annum and it would be borne by the centre as part of food subsidy till its full implementation upto June, 2024.
Envisaging full implementation of the scheme covering ICDS and PM POSHAN in India all over by March, 2022 in phase-1 and TPDS and OWS in all 291 Aspirational and High Burden Districts on stunting by March 2023 in phase-2 and covering the remaining districts of the country by March 2024 in the third phase.
As part of vigorous implementation efforts, the Department of Food and Public Distribution has been coordinating all ecosystem related activities with all relevant stakeholders like state government/UT, line ministries/department, development partners, industries, research institutes etc.
The 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 the supply and distribution.
Prime Minister in his address on the seventy-fifth Independence Day last year made an announcement on fortification of rice so as to provide nutrition to every poor person of the country to overcome malnutrition and lack of essential nutrients in women, children, lactating mothers etc. as it poses major obstacles in their development.
Earlier, the centrally sponsored pilot scheme on "Fortification of Rice and its Distribution under Public Distribution System" was implemented for a period of three years beginning from 2019-20.
Eleven 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.
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