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Free Grain Distribution To 81.35 Cr Poor Under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana Extended For 5 Years

Free grains will be distributed through a network of over 5 lakh fair price shops under a common logo. Beneficiaries can lift their entitled grains from any fair price shop in the country under the One Nation One Ration Card initiative

Free Grain Distribution To 81.35 Cr Poor Under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana Extended For 5 Years
Thus, the monthly savings of ration card holders are significant, on account of the free foodgrains, it added.

New Delhi: With general elections scheduled for April-May next year, the government on Wednesday extended the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) scheme to provide 5 kilogrammes of free foodgrains per month to 81.35 crore poor for another five years that would cost the exchequer about Rs 11.80 lakh crore. A decision in this regard was taken in the meeting of the Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Tuesday (November 28). Giving details on Wednesday, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said,

The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) has been extended for another five years from January 1, 2024.

The minister said the expenditure on scheme will be around Rs 11.8 lakh crore over the next five years.

The scheme was last extended till December 31, 2023. An official release said,

Keeping in view welfare of the beneficiaries and in order to strengthen the food security in terms of accessibility, affordability and availability of foodgrains for the targeted population, and to maintain uniformity across the states, the decision has been taken to continue providing foodgrains, free of cost, under PMGKAY for five years.

Also Read: India To Extend Free Food Grains Programme By Five Years, says PM Narendra Modi

PMGKAY was introduced in 2020 as a pandemic relief measure, under which 5 kg of free foodgrains per beneficiary per month was provided in addition to the 5 kg of subsidised foodgrain under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

In December 2022, as PMGKAY came to an end after multiple extensions, it was subsumed under the NFSA providing ration free for one year.

Under the NFSA, up to 75 per cent of the rural population and 50 per cent of the urban population are being covered under two categories — Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and priority households.

While AAY households, which constitute the poorest of the poor, are entitled to 35 kg of foodgrains per family per month, priority households get 5 kg per person per month.

Terming it as a historic decision, the government said the extension of free grain distribution under the PMGKAY for next five years reflects the long-term commitment and vision of the government for addressing national food and nutrition security.

Also Read: 81.35 Crore People To Get Free Foodgrain For A Year Under National Food Security Act

This should help mitigate any financial hardship of the affected strata of society in a sustainable manner and ensure long term pricing strategy with zero cost to the beneficiaries, which is vital for effective penetration of the Public Distribution System, it said in a statement.

For example, the economic cost of 35 kg rice for an Antyodaya family comes to Rs 1,371, while the cost of 35 kg wheat comes to Rs 946, which is being borne by the central government under PMGKAY, and the foodgrains are provided completely free to the families, it said.

Thus, the monthly savings of ration card holders are significant, on account of the free foodgrains, it added.

Free grains will be distributed through a network of over 5 lakh fair price shops under a common logo. Beneficiaries can lift their entitled grains from any fair price shop in the country under the One Nation One Ration Card initiative.

Also Read: India Launches Five-Day Millets Festival In Indonesia To Raise Awareness And Create Markets For Millets-Based Products In ASEAN

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which in its Season 10 is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In a world post COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental well-being, self-care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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