Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while addressing the press conference on June 28, informed that the total cost of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) in 2020-21 was Rs 1,33,972 lakh crore. The total estimated fiscal impact of the scheme is seen at Rs 93,869 crore, bringing the total cost of PMGKAY to Rs 2,27,841 crore, she said.
PMGKAY was launched on March 26, 2020, to provide free ration to over 80 crore people, mostly the poor who were affected by the economic disruption caused due to COVID-19 and the nationwide lockdown.
The scheme was initially launched for the period of April to June 2020. However, it was extended till November 2020.
Follow our live blog to see all updates on FM Nirmala Sitharaman's press conference
In the wake of the second wave of COVID-19, the scheme was relaunched in May 2021 to ensure the food security of the poor. Then on June 23, cabinet approved the proposal to extend it by five more months till November-end.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing the nation, had announced that the Centre's free food programme PMGKAY will be extended for five months till Diwali. The same proposal was approved in the Cabinet meeting, chaired by Modi, on June 23.
Under this scheme, National Food Security Act (NFSA) beneficiaries will be provided 5 kg of food grains free of cost until November 2021.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while addressing a press conference, announced some new relief measures amid economic distress caused by the second wave of COVID-19 in the country.