THE MID-DAY meal scheme, which provides much-needed nutrition to lakhs of children all over the country, faces an acute crisis. 12 crore children in 9.5 lakh schools have mid-day meals.
The Department of Food and Public Distribution, headed by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, has told the HRD ministry that from now on wheat and rice for the scheme will cost almost double. Also, it would not be possible to provide food grains for any future expansion of the scheme, the ministry was told.
Only last Thursday the Cabinet approved the proposal to expand the mid-day meal scheme to the upper primary level in schools.
The HRD ministry will now have to buy grains at what is called the ‘economic rate’ which is about Rs 12,000 per metric tonne, compared to Rs 5,650 per metric tonne.
PS: Children will be penalised for Bad Governance.
Do You know that : In the last three years, Rs 31,585.98 crore worth of wheat and rice meant for the poorest of the poor was siphoned off from the public distribution system. Last year alone, Rs 11,336.98 crore worth of food grain that the government is supposed to distribute to the needy at subsidised prices found its way into the market illegally.