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Centre approves distribution of fortified rice under all govt schemes, to spend Rs 2,700 crore per year

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New Delhi, Apr 08: The Centre on Friday announced that the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved a proposal to distribute fortified rice through various government schemes in a phased manner. The entire cost of rice fortification (around Rs. 2,700 crore per annum) would be borne by the government of India as part of food subsidy till its full implementation upto June, 2024.

Representational Image

In the first phase, under PM POSHAN and ICDS schemes, now fortified rice will be supplied for mid-day meal in all Anganwadis and schools.

The following three phases are envisaged for full implementation of the initiative:

Phase-I: Covering ICDS and PM POSHAN in India all over by March, 2022 which is under implementation.

Phase-II: Phase I above plus TPDS and OWS in all Aspirational and High Burden Districts on stunting (total 291 districts) by March 2023.

Phase-Ill: Phase II above plus covering the remaining districts of the country by March 2024.

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.

Hon'ble Prime Minister of India in his address on the 75th Independence Day (15th August, 2021) 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 3 years beginning from 2019-20. Eleven (11) 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.

Cabinet approves extension of Atal Innovation Mission

The Union Cabinethas approved continuation of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), till March 2023. The AIM shall work on its intended target of creating an innovation culture and entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country. This will be done by AIM via its various programs.

The intended targets that will be achieved by AIM are:

Establishing 10000 Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs),
Establishing 101 Atal Incubation Centers (AICs),
Establishing 50 Atal Community Innovation Centers (ACICs) and
Supporting 200 startups via the Atal New India Challenges.

The total budgeted expenditure of Rs.2000+ crore shall be incurred in the process of the establishment and supporting the beneficiaries.

Cabinet approves signing of Bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Securities and Exchange Board of India and Financial Regulatory Commission, Mongolia

The Union Cabinet today has approved the proposal for signing a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and Financial Regulatory Commission, Mongolia (FRC).

Major impact:

FRC, like SEBI, is a co-signatory to International Organization of Securities Commissions' Multilateral MoU (IOSCO MMoU). However, the IOSCO MMoU does not have under its scope the provision for technical assistance. The proposed bilateral MoU would, in addition to contributing towards strengthening the information sharing framework leading to effective enforcement of securities laws, also help in establishing a technical assistance programme. The technical assistance programme would benefit the Authorities by way of consultations on matters relating to capital markets, capacity building activities and training programmes for the staff.

Cabinet approves granting one-time window to Government Companies to surrender non-operational coal mines without penalty

The Union Cabinet today has approved the Ministry of Coal's proposal for providing a one-time window to the Central and State PSUs to surrender non-operational mines without penalty (forfeiture of bank guarantee) and without citing any reason. This may release several coal mines which the present Government PSU allottees are not in a position to develop or are disinterested and could be auctioned as per the present auction policy. A three months' time will be granted to the allottee Government Companies to surrender the coal mines from the date of publication of the approved surrender policy.

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