Panaji: Civil Supplies Minister Govind Gawade said that with the coverage of 97.32 per cent, Goa has become leading state to implement Prime Minister’s Garib Kalyan Yojana, which was introduced during lockdown period.
“With such percentage we have become the leading state to implement the PM’s scheme, which was launched keeping in mind welfare of the needy during lockdown period,” he said.
As per the central government guidelines, the family with less than Rs 50,000 annual income are covered under this scheme.
Gawade said that out of 15 lakh population, almost 5.49 lakh people are covered under PHH cards (Priority House Holder) in the state.
“We are happy with the percentage of beneficiaries. The scheme was aiming to help people during crisis, and I feel, our department has done their duty perfectly,” he added.
Claiming that the State government acted promptly to the requirement of people after lockdown was announced, Gawade conceded that there was confusion for initial two days, but later the supplies of essentials became normal.
“People had enough stock at their homes. But still they were crowding to get more. We had announced that the supplies won’t be affected, despite that there was a crowd,” he said.
The minister thanked volunteers including political leaders, sarpanchas, panchas and NGOs who came out in a big number to help people during the testing time.
“70 per cent of Goa is rural area. There was problem in urban area because of thick population, but rural areas had enough stock,” he said.
He said that when lockdown was announced, he had spoken to all the wholesalers apart from fair price shops under Civil Supplies department. “I held meeting with the district administration to ensure availability of food grains,” he said.
Speaking about certain decisions like posting teachers to monitor supplies at Fair Price Shops, which was later withdrawn after protests, Gawade said that bureaucracy in the state do not have practical knowledge.
“They are just theoretical. The practical knowledge is with the ground level officer. Also we need to understand that the issues of talukas differ, they are not uniform,” he said referring to the decisions taken by State Executive Committee, a body formed by Goa government led by Chief Secretary Parimal Rai, to oversee the arrangements during disaster.