Wednesday, December 7, 2022

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Govt extends Free Ration Yojana for another three months from Oct to Dec 2022

New Delhi: The government on Wednesday approved the extension for the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY-Phase VII) for an additional period of 3 months from October to December 2022.

The main motive behind the move is to insure food security at a time when the entire world is bearing the brunt of Covid-19. The government said in a press note that “India has been successfully maintaining food security for its vulnerable sections while taking necessary steps to keep availability and affordability for common man.”

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When the festivals are round the corner which drain a huge of amount of wealth of Indian families, government has decided to extend ” PMGKAY for a period of three months so that poor and vulnerable sections of society are supported for the forthcoming major festivals like Navratri, Dussehra, Milad-un-nabi, Deepawali, Chhath pooja, Gurunanak dev Jayanti, Christmas, etc. which they can celebrate with great gaiety and community for festivities.” It also mentioned that “approval for extension of PMGKAY for three months will allow people to continue to enjoy the benefits of easy availability of foodgrains without any financial distress.”

Under this scheme, 5 kg of food grain per person per month is provided free of cost for all the beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) [Antodaya Anna Yojana & Priority Households] including those who come under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).

So far, the government of India has spent nearly Rs 3.45 lakh cr on PMGKAY scheme in four phases. Whereas, this fifth phase will incur it around Rs 44,762 cr which will take the overall expenditure to Rs 3.91 lakh cr for all the five phases.

The total outgo in terms of food grains for PMGKAY Phase VII is likely to be about 122 LMT. The aggregate allocation of food grain for phases I- VII is about 1121 LMT.

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So far, PMGKAY has been in operation for 25 months as follows:

Phase I and II ( 8 months) : April’20 to Nov.’20
Phase-III to V (11 months) : May’21 to March’22
Phase-VI ( 6 months) : April’22 to Sept.’22

PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY) was started by union government during Covid-19 crisis with an intent to provide food security to the poor, needy and the vulnerable households/beneficiaries so that they do not suffer on account of non-availability of adequate foodgrains. Effectively it has doubled the quantity of monthly foodgrains entitlements being normally delivered to beneficiaries.

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