New Delhi: In keeping with the concern and sensitivity towards poor and vulnerable sections of society, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, has extended the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY) scheme for another six months i.e., till September 2022 (Phase VI).
The Phase-V of the PM-GKAY scheme was to end in March 2022. It may be recalled that the PM-GKAY has been under implementation since April 2020, as the largest food security program in the world.
The Government has spent approximately Rs. 2.60 Lakh Crore so far and another Rs. 80,000 Crore will be spent over the next 6 months till September 2022 taking the total expenditure under PM-GKAY to nearly Rs. 3.40 Lakh Crore.
This will cover nearly 80 crore beneficiaries across India and like before would be fully funded by the Government of India.
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.
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 foodgrains under the NFSA. This means that every poor household would get nearly double the normal quantity of ration.
It is worth highlighting that the Government had allocated about 759 LMT of free foodgrains under the PM-GKAY till Phase V. With another 244 LMT of free foodgrains under this extension (Phase VI), the aggregate allocation of free foodgrains under the PM-GKAY now stand at 1,003 LMT of foodgrains.
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 highest ever procurement despite the century’s worst pandemic with highest ever payment to farmers by the Government. For this record production in the agricultural fields Indian Farmers –‘Annadata’ deserves to be complimented.