Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana: Free ration scheme likely to be extended by 3 months

The central government is likely to extend the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) by three months, Zee Business reporter ambarish has learnt. The Union Cabinet which will meet today is likely to approve the extension of the free ration scheme.

Under the PMGKAY scheme, the government provides free rations to the poor. The scheme was launched in March 2020 to provide 5 kg of free food grains per person per month to around 80 million beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) to ease their hardships during the lockdown period .

The plan has been extended several times since then and is now valid until September 30.

The free grains exceed the normal quota provided by the NFSA at a highly subsidized rate of Rs 2-3 per kg.

Initially in 2020-21, the PMGKAY scheme was announced only for a period of three months – April, May and June 2020 (Phase I). Later, the government extended the scheme from July to November 2020 (Phase-II).

With the continuation of the COVID-19 crisis in 2021-22, in April 2021 the Center had reintroduced the scheme for a two-month period of May and June 2021 (Phase-III) and extended it for five more months from July to November. 2021 (Phase-IV). The scheme was further extended from December 2021 to March 2022 (Phase-V).

On March 26, the Center had extended the scheme to provide 5 kg of free food grains to the poor in six months till September 30 at a cost of Rs 80,000 crore.

The total expenditure of PMGKAY has reached close to Rs 3.40 crore.

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