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Govt Likely to Extend Free Ration Scheme by 3 Months

Last Updated: September 28, 2022, 14:03 IST

Central government is likely to extend the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) by 3 months

The Central government is likely to extend the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) by 3 months

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana Extension Expected: The Central government is likely to extend the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) by 3 months. The Union Cabinet which is slated to meet today could approve the extension of the free ration scheme, according to media reports. The extension will add a burden of Rs 45,000 crore to the national exchequer.

Under the extended PM-GKAY each beneficiary will get an additional 5 kg free ration per person per month in addition to his normal quota of foodgrains under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). This means that every poor household would get nearly double the normal quantity of ration.

The benefit of the free ration can be availed through portability by any migrant labour or beneficiary under One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) plan from nearly 5 lakh ration shops across the country. So far, over 61 Crore portability transactions have benefitted the beneficiaries away from their homes.

The scheme has been extended multiple times since then 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 of May and June 2021 (Phase-III) and extended it for another five months from July to November 2021 (Phase-IV). The scheme was again extended from December 2021 to March 2022 (Phase-V).

On March 26, the Centre had extended the scheme to provide 5 kg of foodgrains free of cost to the poor by six months till September 30 at a cost of Rs 80,000 crore.

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