Connect with us

News

Free Ration Scheme Extended Till September, Says PM After Cabinet Meeting

In March 2020, the Centre had launched Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY), a scheme to provide free 5 kg foodgrains per person per month to over 80 crore beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA)

Free Ration Scheme Extended Till September, Says PM After Cabinet Meeting
The scheme, which started when India went into stringent COVID induced lockdown two years back, was to end on March 31
Highlights
  • PM-GKAY was started to reduce the hardships of people during the pandemic
  • The government has spent around ₹2.60 lakh crore so far under PM-GKAY
  • ₹80,000 crore will be spent over the next six months: Centre

New Delhi: The Modi government on Saturday (March 26) extended the scheme to provide 5 kg of grains free of cost to the poor by six months till September 30 at a cost of ₹80,000 crore, as it looks to continue providing support to vulnerable amid a rebound in the COVID-19 pandemic. The scheme, which started when India went into stringent lockdown two years back, was to end on March 31. In the last two years, around ₹2.6 lakh crore has already been spent under this scheme and it will cost another ₹ 80,000 crore with the extension of six months.

Also Read: Kerala Government Launches Nutrition Bar To Eliminate Underweight Malnutrition Among Children In the State

In March 2020, the Centre had launched the scheme — Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY) — to provide free 5 kg foodgrains per person per month to over 80 crore beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) to reduce the hardships of people during the COVID pandemic.

In keeping with the concern and sensitivity towards poor and vulnerable sections of society, the Union Cabinet has extended the PM-GKAY scheme for another six months i.e, till September 2022 (Phase VI), an official statement said.

The Phase-V of PM-GKAY scheme was to end in March 2022.

The government has spent approximately ₹2.60 lakh crore so far and another ₹80,000 crore will be spent over the next six months till September 2022 taking the total expenditure under PM-GKAY to nearly ₹3.40 lakh crore, the statement said.

The extension of the scheme shows the Modi government’s sensitivity towards poor, Food Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted.

Also Read: Opinion: Nourishing The Undernourished In Quarantine During COVID-19 Times

The additional free grains are over and above the normal quota provided under the NFSA at a highly subsidised rate of ₹2-3 per kg.

Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly abated and economic activities are gathering momentum, this PM-GKAY extension would ensure that no poor household goes to bed without food during this time of recovery, the statement said.

Under the extended PM-GKAY each beneficiary will get additional 5 kg free ration per person per month in addition to his normal quota of grains under the NFSA.

This means that every poor household would get nearly double the normal quantity of ration, the statement said.

The government had allocated about 759 lakh tonnes of free grains under the PM-GKAY till Phase V.

With another 244 lakh tonnes of free foodgrains under this extension (Phase VI), the aggregate allocation of free foodgrains under the PM-GKAY now stand at 1,003 lakh tonnes of foodgrains, it added.

Also Read: Three More States Integrated Into ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ system, Experts Call For Increasing Access To Robust Technology In Rural Areas

The benefit of free ration can be availed through portability by any migrant labour or beneficiary under One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) plan from nearly 5 lakh ration shops across the country. So far, over 61 crore portability transactions have benefitted the beneficiaries away from their homes.

This has been made possible due to the highest ever procurement despite the century’s worst pandemic with the highest ever payment to farmers by the government, the food ministry said.

For this record production in the agricultural fields Indian farmers -‘Annadata’ deserves to be complimented, it added.

This scheme has been extended several times with the recent one until March 2022.

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

With the COVID crisis continuing in 2021-22, the Centre in April 2021 had re-introduced the scheme for a period of two months of May and June 2021 (Phase-III) and extended it for another five months from July to November 2021 (Phase-IV).

The scheme was again extended from December 2021 to March 2022 (Phase-V).

In the beginning, the government had also distributed 1 kg of pulses under this scheme, but it was discontinued later.

Also Read: Opinion: When Will We Talk About Food Security?

(Except for the headline, 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 Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. 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 wake of the current 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 wellbeing, 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,  that 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.

Folk Music For A Swasth India

RajasthanDay” src=

Reckitt’s Commitment To A Better Future

Expert Blog

हिंदी में पड़े

Latest Posts