Ahead of polls, FCI plans to deliver foodgrains in bags with PM Modi’s photo

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Under the PMGKAY, free foodgrains are to be provided to about 81.35 crore beneficiaries of Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Households (PHH). Photo: Special Arrangement

Under the PMGKAY, free foodgrains are to be provided to about 81.35 crore beneficiaries of Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Households (PHH). Photo: Special Arrangement

In the run-up to the 2024 general election expected to be held between April and May, the Central government is ensuring that the brand of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is displayed conspicuously on foodgrain bags to be distributed under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY).

Under the PMGKAY, free foodgrains are to be provided to about 81.35 crore beneficiaries of Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Households (PHH). The Central government has claimed that during the implementation of the PMGKAY in financial years 2020-21 and 2021-22, more than 75 crore beneficiaries have received foodgrains.

In a circular dated January 12, 2024, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) wrote to all its 26 regional offices asking them to float tenders for procuring woven laminated bags with an indicative logo of Mr. Modi, in order to distribute foodgrains under PMGKAY. 

In Rajasthan alone, synthetic bags costing ₹13.29 crores have been ordered. According to a Right to Information (RTI) reply provided to activist Ajay Bose by the FCI’s storage section in the regional office of Jaipur, Rajasthan has given a supply order of 1.07 crore synthetic bags at the cost of ₹12.375 per bag. 

The Central government has ensured that the brand of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is displayed conspicuously on foodgrain bags to be distributed under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana. 

The Central government has ensured that the brand of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is displayed conspicuously on foodgrain bags to be distributed under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana. 
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

Tenders in Rajasthan have been awarded to five companies — Rajasthan-based Salasar Technotex Pvt Ltd, Rajasthan Flexible Packaging Ltd, Alliance Polysacks Pvt Ltd and Gujarat-based Mor Techfab Pvt Ltd and Gujarat Blast Industries. 

While Rajasthan has awarded the contract at ₹12.375 per bag, Nagaland has awarded the contract to only one company — Rajasthan Flexible Packaging at ₹9.30 per bag, stated the FCI’s regional office in Dimapur, in the RTI reply. The reply also stated that Nagaland had ordered a quantity of 329 bales, without elaborating on the number of bags contained in each bale. 

“During the free grain distribution under PMGKAY that started in 2020 when the pandemic began, unbranded 50 kg jute sacks were used to disburse grain. The branding of bags with faces of political figures has begun in 2024, ahead of the election,” said an official in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.

Also, the Ministry official added that Kerala may shy away from placing orders for bags with the branding.

While Rajasthan and Nagaland have issued supply orders, the FCI regional office in Maharashtra stated in its RTI reply, “The tender is still under process in the Maharashtra region and has not yet been finalised.” The FCI’s regional office in Delhi too said that the process is yet to be complete.

Tamil Nadu has floated a tender for the supply of 1.14 crore bags. 

The FCI’s regional office in Tamil Nadu replied to the RTI query stating, “The tender bearing No. GEM/2024/B/4481689 for 10 kg woven-laminated ration bags was floated on January 13, 2024 and the same is under process. The work order is yet to be issued.”

The annual food subsidy borne by the Central government towards distribution of food grains to AAY households and PHH beneficiaries is ₹2.13 lakh crore. 

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