5kg free ration under Garib Kalyan Yojana for 2 months
The central government on Friday announced that it will provide 5 kg free food grains to millions of poor people for the next two months. The move will cover nearly 80 crore beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). The government said in a statement that the scheme will be rolled out on the same pattern as last year's PM Garib Kalyan Yojana.
5 kg per person per month to be allocated
The statement said, "The Government of India has decided to allocate free-of-cost food grains @ 5 Kg per person per month to nearly 80 crore beneficiaries covered under National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) over and above NFSA foodgrains for next two months i.e. May and June 2021 on the same pattern as the earlier Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY)."
Beneficiaries to be provided free rice or wheat
Under the PMGKAY, around 80 crore NFSA beneficiaries covered under both categories of NFSA, Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Householders (PHH), will be provided with an additional quota of free-of-cost foodgrains (rice or wheat) at a scale of 5 kg per person per month, over and above their regular monthly entitlements under NFSA, the statement further said.
'Government will bear full expenditure of over Rs. 26,000 crore'
The statement further said, "The government of India will bear the full expenditure of over Rs. 26,000 crore on account of the cost of food grains, intrastate transportation, etc., as part of Central assistance to states or union territories."
Nutritional support important amid pandemic: PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stressed that nutritional support is important in the middle of the pandemic. Currently, India is facing a brutal second wave of COVID-19, reporting over 3 lakh new infections in a day. The free ration distribution scheme was extended in June last year for five months till November with an additional estimated outlay of Rs. 90,000 crore.