Government Procurement Current Affairs - 2020

Massive Exercise to supply pulses and food grains to 80 crore people

On May 8, 2020, Union Minister for Food and Public Distribution Shri Ram Vilas Paswan announced that NAFED (National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited) is to provide free pulses for three months to more than 19.5 crore households for three months.

Highlights

On one side, the GoI is undergoing the procurement process on full scale and on the other side it is distributing food grains under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana. The procurement is being done by FCI (Food Corporation of India) and NAFED (National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited). This year, the Food Corporation of India has loaded 73.95 lakh metric tonnes of food grains. This includes 55.38 lakh tonnes of rice and 18.57 lakh tonnes of wheat.

The Exercise

Under the exercise, the Government is to distribute free 1 kg of pulses to 19.5 crore people for a period of three months. This is the first time Government is carrying such a massive operation. The stock of pulses in about 165 NAFED godowns are to be used in the scheme. Around 100 dal mills are to work to achieve the target.

Progress so far

So far, 51,105 lakh tonnes of pulses have been distributed. This includes Urad Whole, Tur Dal, Moong whole, Channa Dal and Masur Dhal.

CMIE: Unemployment rate climbs to 27.1%

On May 5, 2020, the Centre for Monitoring of Indian Economy released unemployment data. According to the data, 121.5 million are without works.

Highlights

The data says that 91,3 million daily wage labourers were out of their jobs due to COVID-19 crisis. Also, 18.2 million entrepreneurs are without work as there are lack of labourers. Around 17.8 million salaried workers are also affected due to COVID-19.

Key findings

The report generated by CMIE had the following findings

  • The ongoing lock down, considered the biggest in world history has generated jobless rate of 27.1%.
  • Both the urban and rural unemployment rates increased. The rural unemployment increased from 20.88% to 26.16%. In order to help the rural population, GoI is strengthening MNREGA. The wages of MNREGA has been increased under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann yojana. Also, several states like Jharkhand are launching schemes to further boost such measures.

Farming Sector

Among all the activities, farming was performing good as it was exempted from lock down. Around 5.8 million farmers returned to work after April 20, 2020. Also, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) were engaged in their fullest to procure the rabi crops. This included rice, wheat, pulses and cotton.