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Indian government extends PM-GKAY by four months to March 2022

Wheat grains. Photo: Klaus Beyer/Pixabay

New Delhi, Nov 24 (MNN) The Indian government has extended Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY-Phase V) by another 4 months from December 2021 till March 2022, wherein 5 kg free good grains per person per month are provided to all beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act, including those covered under Direct Benefit Transfer.

The Union Cabinet nod on Wednesday comes in pursuance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation on June 7 and as part of an economic response to COVID -19 pandemic.

Phase-I and Phase-II of this scheme was operational from April to June 2020 and July to November 2020 respectively. Phase-III of the scheme was operational from May to June 2021. Phase-IV of the scheme is currently operational for July-November 2021.

The PMGKAY scheme for Phase V from December 2021 till March, 2022 will entail an estimated additional food subsidy of Rs 5,3344.52 crore

The total outgo in terms of food grains for PMGKAY Phase V is likely to be about 163 lakh metric tonnes.

In the wake of economic disruptions caused by the unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19 in the country last year, the government in March 2020 had announced the distribution of additional free food grains (rice/wheat) to about 80 crore NFSA beneficiaries at 5 kg per person per month under PM-GKAY.

This was over and above the regular monthly NFSA food grains, that is, regular entitlements of their ration cards so that the poor, needy and the vulnerable households/beneficiaries do not suffer on account of non-availability of adequate food grains during the times of economic crisis.

So far, under the PM-GKAY(Phase I to IV) the government had allocated almost 600 LMT food grains to the states/UTs which entail about Rs 2.07 lakh crore in food subsidy.

The distribution under PMGKAY-IV is presently ongoing, and as per the reports available from states and UTs so far,  93.8 per cent food grains have been lifted and nearly 37.32 LMT (93.9 per cent of July’21), 37.20 LMT (93.6 per cent of Aug’21), 36.87 LMT (92.8 per cent of Sept’21), 35.4 LMT (89 per cent of Oct’21) and 17.9 LMT ( 45 per cent of Nov’21) food grains have been distributed to about 74.64 crore, 74.4 crore, 73.75 crore, 70.8 crore and 35.8 crore beneficiaries respectively.

Overall, the government will incur an expenditure of nearly Rs.2.60 lakh crore in PMGKAY Phase I- V.

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