Centre approves extension of PM-GKAY till November

Imphal: The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved allocation of additional foodgrain under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (Phase IV) – for another period of 5 months–July to November at the rate 5 kg per person per month free of cost for maximum 81.35 crore beneficiaries covered under National Food Security Act (NFSA) (Antyodaya Anna Yojana and Priority Households) including those covered under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).

In 2020, Government of India had announced the “Pradhan Mantri GaribKalyan Anna Yojana” (PM-GKAY) for all beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) as part of the pro-poor PM GaribKalyan Package for the period April-November, 2020. Around 80 Crore NFSAbeneficiaries were allocated additional 5 kg of foodgrains (wheat or rice), free of cost for a period of eight months (April-November 2020), thereby ensuring food security of poor/vulnerable beneficiaries/households in the wake of economic disruptions caused by the Covid-19 outbreak in the country. Under PM-GKAY2020, (April – November 2020), a total of about 321 lakh MT foodgrains wasallocated by the department to all states and Union territories (UTs), about 305 lakh MT food grains lifted by states and UTs and a total of about 298 LMT of foodgrains (i.e. around 93 percent of allocated quantity) was distributed all over the country.

In 2021, owing to the on-going severe Covid-19 pandemic across the country and the economic disruptions in its wake, Government of India had announced to implement the PM-GKAY for a period of two months–May 2021 and June 2021 at an estimated expenditure of about Rs 26,602 crore, on the same lines asPMGKAY 2020. A total allocation of over 79 lakh MT of foodgrains was done for the purpose. Under PM-GKAY 2021 (May – June), so far, more than 76 lakh MT foodgrains, i.e. more than 96 percent of the allocated foodgrain have been lifted by states/UTs. Further, more than 35 lakh MT food grains (i.e. around90% of monthly allocation) have been distributed by States/UTs for May 2021and more than 23 lakh MT food grains (i.e. around 59 percent of monthly allocation)have been distributed for June. Around 80 crore NFSA beneficiaries are receiving 5 Kg additional free-of-cost foodgrains (wheat or rice) for the months of May and June.

On a review of the continuing Covid-19 situation in the country and to help the poor and the needy during the crisis, Narendra Modi, in his address to the nation on June 7, announced the extension of the PMGKAY (2021) Scheme for a further period of five month till Diwali in November. An additional allocation of 5 kg of foodgrains (wheat or rice), free of cost, involving a total quantity of around 204 lakh MT of foodgrains for a period of further 5 months will be provided to around 80 crore NFSA beneficiaries with an estimated financial implication of up to Rs 67,266 crore. This additional free of cost allocation of food grains will be over and above the regular monthly food grains allocated for beneficiaries covered under the NFSA.

The entire cost of this additional allocation under PM-GKAY, including the expenditure on intra state transportation, dealers’ margin etc., will be borne by Government of India without any sharing by states/UTs.

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