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PMGKAY update | Free dry ration scheme likely to be extended by up to six months

Initially, the PMGKAY scheme was announced only for a period of three months -- April, May and June 2020.

September 21, 2022 / 02:34 PM IST
Representative Image

Representative Image

Free dry ration distribution under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) is likely to be extended by another three to six months by the central government.

The Centre has recently reviewed the stock situation and is likely to take a call on extending the PMGKAY scheme to provide free ration to the poor beyond September 30, according to CNBC-TV18.

Sources have told that adequate food grains stock is available with the government now to execute the scheme.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the information.

The PMGKAY was launched in March 2020 to provide free 5 kg foodgrains per person per month to about 80 crore beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) to reduce their hardship during the lockdown period. This was over and above the general allocation under the NFSA.

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However, the formal decision on the PMGKAY extension is still awaited and is likely to be announced soon.

The scheme has been extended multiple times and is now valid till September 30.

Initially, in 2020-21, the PMGKAY scheme was announced only for a period of three months -- April, May and June 2020 (Phase-I). Later, the government extended the scheme from July to November 2020 (Phase-II). With the COVID-19 crisis continuing in 2021-22, the Centre had in April 2021 re-introduced the scheme for a period of two months, May and June 2021 (Phase-III) and extended it for another five months from July to November 2021 (Phase-IV).

The government has allocated over 1,000 lakh tonnes of free foodgrains under the PMGKAY till Phase VI.

The scheme was again extended from December 2021 to March 2022 (Phase-V). On March 26, the Centre further extended the scheme to provide 5 kg of foodgrains free of cost to the poor for six months till September 30 at a cost of Rs 80,000 crore.

The total expenditure under PMGKAY has touched nearly Rs 3.40 lakh crore. The free grains are over and above the normal quota provided under the NFSA at a highly subsidised rate of Rs 2-3 per kg.

(With inputs from PTI)
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