On Wednesday, the government made the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), which gives free food to poor people, last for another three months.
“It will cost Rs 44,700 crore to give free food to 80 crore people for three more months, until December 2022,” Union Minister Anurag Thakur said.
The PMGKAY scheme was started in March 2020. It will give about 80 crores of people who are covered by the National Food Security Act (NFSA) 5 kg of free food grains each month to make their lives easier during the lockdown.
In March 2020, the PMGKAY scheme began. It will give about 80 crore people who are covered by the National Food Security Act (NFSA) 5 kg of free food grains each month to make their lives easier during the lockdown.
With the Covid-19 crisis still going on in 2021-22, the centre brought back the scheme in April 2021 for two months, May and June 2021 (phase-3) and then extended it for another five months, July to November 2021. (phase-4).
The deadline was pushed back from December 2021 to March 2022 (phase V). On March 26, the government decided to give the poor 5 kg of free food grains for another six months, until September 30. This cost Rs 80,000 crores. Under PMGKAY, the total amount spent has reached nearly 3.40 lakh crores.
The free grains are in addition to the normal quota that the NFSA gives out at a very low price of Rs 2-3 per kg. Under the PMGKAY, the government has given away more than 1 billion tonnes of free food grains until Phase VI.