The Cabinet on Wednesday permitted a proposal to increase the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) to supply free ration to over 80 crore individuals, largely poor, by 5 extra months until November-end.
The PMGKAY was reintroduced for 2 months until June this yr with a purpose to minimise the financial hardships being confronted by the poor PDS (public distribution system) beneficiaries in the course of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Early this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi whereas addressing the nation had introduced that the Centre”s free meals programme PMGKAY shall be prolonged for 5 months until Diwali.
The identical proposal was permitted within the Cabinet assembly, chaired by Modi, on Wednesday.
“The Union Cabinet has approved the allocation of additional foodgrain under PMGKAY (Phase IV) – for another period of five months i.e. July to November 2021…,” mentioned an official assertion.
The free provide of grains will ameliorate the hardships confronted by the poor as a result of financial disruption brought on by the coronavirus, it added.
No poor household will undergo on account of the non-availability of foodgrains as a result of disruption within the subsequent 5 months, the assertion mentioned.
Five-kilo foodgrains per individual monthly is supplied freed from price beneath the PMGKAY to 81.35 crore beneficiaries coated beneath National Food Security Act (NFSA), it famous.
This is over and above distribution of extremely month-to-month subsidised foodgrains of 5 kg per individual given at Rs 1-3 per kg through ration retailers to poor beneficiaries coated beneath the NFSA.
The authorities mentioned the sanction of further meals grains beneath the PMGKAY for 5 extra months would entail an estimated meals subsidy of Rs 64,031 crore.
As the central authorities is bearing the complete expenditure in direction of this scheme with none contribution by states, an extra expenditure of about Rs 3,234.85 crore can be required to be met in direction of transportation and dealing with and ration store sellers’ margins, and so on by the federal government, the assertion mentioned.
(*5*) it added.
The foodgrains outgo shall be 204 lakh tonne for 5 months distribution beneath the PMGKAY.
The Food Ministry will determine on the allocation of wheat and rice. It might also determine on the extension of the lifting/distribution interval beneath Phase III and Phase IV of the PMGKAY as per operational necessities, arising out of antagonistic climate circumstances like monsoon, snowfall, and so on. and provide chain and Covid-induced constraints, in line with the assertion.
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