Govt extends ‘PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana’ to provide free ration till March 2022

Written By: / Wednesday, 24 November 2021 17:51

IT News/Agency
New Delhi, Nov 24:

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday has decided to extend the ‘PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana’ to provide free ration till March 2022, said Union Minister Anurag Thakur during a press briefing.
 Last year, the government had announced PM-GKAY for all beneficiaries covered by the National Food Security Act (NFSA) in the wake of economic disruptions caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.
The scheme was slated to end on November 30. Under this scheme, the government provides 5 kg of food grains free of cost to around 80 crore NFSA beneficiaries.
The food grain under Phase V would entail an estimated food subsidy of Rs 53344.52 crore, said the department of Food and Public Distribution. The total outgo of foodgrains in Phase V is expected to 163 lakh metric tonnes.
Phase-I and Phase-II of this scheme were operational from April to June, 2020 and July to November, 2020 respectively. Phase-III of the scheme was operational from May to June, 2021. Phase-IV of the scheme is currently operational for July-November, 2021 months.
The distribution under PMGKAY-IV is presently ongoing, and as per the reports available from States and UTs so far, 93.8% foodgrains have been lifted and nearly 37.32 LMT, 37.20 LMT , 36.87 LMT, 35.4 LMT and 17.9 LMT foodgrains have been distributed to about 74.64 crore, 74.4 crore, 73.75 crore, 70.8 crore and 35.8 crore beneficiaries respectively.
The government has been giving rice and wheat to bulk consumers under the OMSS policy to improve availability in the domestic market and check prices.
Anurag Thakur said the cabinet has also completed the formalities to repeal the three farm laws. “During the upcoming session of the Parliament, it will be our priority to take back these three laws,” Thakur said.
On November 5, banking on the revival of the economy and claiming its market interventions to keep prices in check are working, the Centre had announced to end the free distribution of ration under PMGKAY from November 30.
“Since the economy is reviving and our OMSS disposal also being exceptionally good this year, there is no proposal to extend this scheme,” Sudhanshu Pandey, Secretary, Department of Food and Public Distribution (F&PD), had said.
The scheme — initiated in the wake of the nationwide lockdowns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic — envisaged the distribution of 5 kg food grain (wheat or rice) per person per month free of cost for a maximum of 81.35 crore beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), including those covered under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).

 

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