Wednesday, April 24, 2024

FCI to spend Rs 15 crore on foodgrain bags with Modi’s photo before elections: RTI reply

The union government is reportedly spending Rs 15 crore on foodgrain bags with Narendra Modi logo ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

The foodgrain bags distributed under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) will be branded with the Prime Minister logos for pre-election promotions, The Hindu reported.

In the response given to the RTI applications filed by activist Ajay Bose, it was revealed that the regional offices of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) have issued tenders in Rajasthan, Sikkim, Mizoram, Tripura, and Meghalaya for manufacturing “woven laminated bags with an indicative logo of PM Modi” to distribute food grains.

“For West Bengal region, selection of a company for production of bags is under process,” the RTI reply further stated as per the report.

Rs 13.29 crore for 1.07 crore synthetic bags is the estimated expenditure in Rajasthan, while Rs 85.51 lakh is being spent on 5.98 lakh Modi-branded bags in Tripura.

According to the Meghalaya regional office, a total amount of Rs 52.75 lakh for 4.22 lakh bags is being spent, and Rs 25 lakh for 1.75 lakh such bags has been allocated for Mizoram.

The Hindu reported that the bags are being produced in Sikkim, and a private company has been selected for the supply. The FCI is looking to buy 98,000 bags at Rs 14.65 apiece, accounting for a total of Rs 14.35 lakh in the state.

The per-piece cost of bags with the Modi logo is different in each state, as per the RTI replies. 

The FCI had served circulars to all of its 26 regional offices to issue tenders for purchasing woven laminated bags with  Modi’s logo for distribution of food grains under the PMGKAY scheme, The Hindu said in an earlier report.

Though the PMGKAY foodgrain distribution had begun in 2020 during the time of the pandemic, unbranded jute sacks were initially used for supplying the grain.

With the branding of the sacks with the Modi logo, the BJP government, as critics suggest, is trying to covertly campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

It is worth noting here that Prime Minister Modi has drawn severe criticism even before, for excessively using his face for promoting the union government schemes and policies, spending a huge sum of money on those publicity stunts.

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