- 5kg foodgrains per month for free to 80 crore ration card holders till Marc
- The total cost of PMGKAY would reach about Rs 2.6 lakh crore
- The total outgo in terms of foodgrains for PMGKAY Phase V is about 163 lakh
New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday (November 24) approved a proposal to extend distribution of 5kg foodgrains per month for free under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) to over 80 crore ration card holders for four months till March 2022, a decision that will cost an additional Rs 53,344 crore to the exchequer. Free foodgrains under the PMGKAY scheme, which was announced in March last year to provide relief to poor people during the COVID pandemic, is over and above the normal quota provided under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) at a highly subsidised rate of Rs 2-3 per kilogram.
Briefing about the decision, I&B Minister Anurag Thakur said the Cabinet has extended the PMGKAY programme by four months till March 2022. This will cost an additional Rs 53,344 crore to the exchequer, he said, adding that the total cost of PMGKAY would reach about Rs 2.6 lakh crore, including all five phases of this ongoing programme. In the wake of economic disruptions caused by the unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19 in the country last year, the government had in March 2020 announced the distribution of additional free-of-cost foodgrains (rice/wheat) to about 80 crore National Food Security Act (NFSA) beneficiaries The Phase-I and Phase-II of this scheme were operational from April to June 2020 and July to November 2020, respectively. The Phase-III of the scheme was operational from May to June 2021, while Phase-IV of the scheme is currently operational for July-November, 2021.
The PMGKAY scheme for Phase V from December 2021 till March 2022 would entail an estimated additional food subsidy of Rs 53,344.52 crore, an official statement said.
The total outgo in terms of foodgrains for PMGKAY Phase V is likely to be about 163 lakh tonnes. So far, under the PM-GKAY (phase I to IV), the Centre has allocated a total of almost 600 lakh tonnes of foodgrains to the states/UTs, equivalent to about Rs 2.07 lakh crore in food subsidy. “Overall, the government will be incurring an expenditure of nearly Rs.2.60 lakh crore in PMGKAY Phase I- V,” the statement said. As per the reports from the states/UTs so far, 93.8 per cent of foodgrains have been lifted. Nearly 37.32 lakh tonnes (93.9 per cent of July 2021), 37.20 lakh tonnes (93.6 per cent of August 2021), 36.87 lakh tonnes (92.8 per cent of September 2021), 35.4 lakh tonnes (89 per cent of October 2021), and 17.9 lakh tonnes (45 per cent of November 2021) foodgrains have been distributed to about 74.64 crore, 74.4 crore, 73.75 crore, 70.8 crore and 35.8 crore beneficiaries, respectively.
NDTV and 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 population, indigenous 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 (Water, Sanitation 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 pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual 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.