New Delhi: Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday said any expenditure for the welfare of the poor people is never a burden for the Central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Replying to a query about the expenditure on free distribution of ration while addressing a press conference here at BJP headquarters, Goyal said: “Let me clarify that any expenditure for the welfare and benefit of the poor is never a burden for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi government. Welfare of the poor was, is and will be our priority.”
“It has nothing to do with the election. PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana was announced nearly two years ago under the Atmanirbhar Bharat package when there was no election. Any expenditure made on the poor has never been for electoral gains. It started when there were no election in sight.”
Goyal said that 1,000 lakh tonnes of food grains worth Rs 3.40 lakh crore reached 80 crore people in the country.
“Access to food security is a fundamental issue and we ensure food to everyone. Lakhs of tonnes of ration reached 80 crore people,” Goyal said.
He noted that ‘One Nation – One Ration Card’ was a vision of the Prime Minister and the government started it to provide ration to 80 crore beneficiaries anywhere in the country with the use of technology.
“People have taken their food grains somewhere else instead of their homes through 65 crore portability transactions,” he said.
He mentioned that the works of the Prime Minister have also been appreciated on the international stage.
“The IMF, while assessing the entire situation of India, has said that the free food grains that have been given, either under Food Security Act or under the Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana have a huge impact in India and it helped in reducing poverty and inequality in the country,” the minister said.
On Telangana chief minister’s announcement of state procuring paddy produce, Goyal said that the nation has one policy applicable across the country in all the states as far as procurement is concerned for national food security programme.
“Every state government wants to supplement the policy through their own programme is a welcome step. Our BJP leader assured the farmers in Telangana that if the BJP comes in power, which seems quite imminent, that the state government will procure any product outside national food security act guidelines programme, prompting the chief minister to start the process today. The BJP leader showed him the right direction,” Goyal said.