Govt decides to extend 5-kg free foodgrains scheme till March next year
In pursuance of the pro-people announcement made by Prime Minister in his address to nation on 07.06.2021 and as part of the Economic Response to COVID -19, the Union Cabinet has approved the extension for the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY-Phase V) for a period of another 4 months i.e. December 2021 till March 2022 @ 5 kg per person per month free of cost for all the beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) [Antodaya Anna Yojana & Priority Households] including those covered under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).
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 months.
The PMGKAY scheme for Phase V from December 2021 till March, 2022 would entail an estimated additional food subsidy of Rs. 53344.52 Crore
The total outgo in terms of food-grains for PMGKAY Phase V is likely to be about 163 LMT.
It may be recalled that 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-of-cost foodgrains (Rice/Wheat) to about 80 Crore National Food Security Act (NFSA) beneficiaries at the scale of 5 Kg per person per month under the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY), over and above the regular monthly NFSA foodgrains i.e., 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 foodgrains during the times of economic crisis. So far, under the PM-GKAY(phase I to IV) the Department had allocated a total of almost 600 LMT foodgrains to the States/UTs equivalent to 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/UTs so far, 93.8% foodgrains have been lifted and nearly 37.32 LMT (93.9% of July’21), 37.20 LMT (93.6% of Aug’21), 36.87 LMT (92.8% of Sept’21), 35.4 LMT (89% of Oct’21) and 17.9 LMT ( 45% of Nov’21) foodgrains have been distributed to about 74.64 Crore, 74.4 Crore, 73.75 Crore, 70.8 Crore and 35.8 crore beneficiaries respectively.
Going by the experience of earlier phases, the performance of PMGKAY-V is also expected to be on the same high level as achieved before.
Overall, the government will be incurring an expenditure of nearly Rs.2.60 lakh Crore in PMGKAY Phase I- V.