PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana extended till September, says Modi
The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY) to offer free ration to the poor has been extended till September 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Saturday. "More than 80 crore people in India will be able to take advantage of this scheme as before," he said in a tweet. The decision was taken during a Union Cabinet meeting earlier in the day.
- The PM-GKAY is a food welfare scheme that offers five kilograms of free foodgrains every month to all National Food Security Act (NFSA) beneficiaries.
- The scheme was first announced on March 26, 2020, to benefit the poor during the COVID-19 pandemic as crores of people suddenly found themselves jobless.
- The scheme has now been extended for a sixth phase.
भारतवर्ष का सामर्थ्य देश के एक-एक नागरिक की शक्ति में समाहित है। इस शक्ति को और मजबूती देने के लिए सरकार ने प्रधानमंत्री गरीब कल्याण अन्न योजना को छह महीने और बढ़ाकर सितंबर 2022 तक जारी रखने का निर्णय लिया है। देश के 80 करोड़ से अधिक लोग पहले की तरह इसका लाभ उठा सकेंगे। pic.twitter.com/gasprUJIhK— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 26, 2022
The Phase V of PM-GKAY was scheduled to end this March. Under the scheme, the central government has allocated 759 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) of free foodgrains to beneficiaries till Phase V, spending approximately Rs. 2.6 lakh crore, the Union Cabinet said. The government now hopes to provide 244 LMT of free foodgrains, spending Rs. 80,000 crore more in Phase VI (April-September), it added.
The benefits "can be availed through portability by any migrant labor or beneficiary under One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) plan from nearly 5 lakh ration shops across the country," the Union Cabinet said. Over 61 crore portability transactions have helped beneficiaries living away from homes, it said. The scheme was extended in keeping with "the concern and sensitivity towards poor and vulnerable sections."
PM Modi chaired a Union Cabinet meeting at his residence in New Delhi at 4:30 pm on Saturday. The agenda of the meeting had not been announced beforehand. This was the second Cabinet meeting within a week and several top ministers were expected to be present. The Cabinet had cleared a bill to merge Delhi's three civic bodies after the last meeting on Tuesday.