Free Ration Scheme Might be Extended for 6th Time
The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) will be extended by three more months beyond its September 30 deadline. The decision comes ahead of the Gujarat Assembly election in December. The scheme had already been extended five times since 2020.
Under the scheme, started during the pandemic in 2020, 5 kg of free food grains are provided per person every month.
Sources in the government told NDTV that a detailed announcement is expected later today. According to the Union finance ministry, the extension of the scheme is likely to cost Rs 45,000 crore to the national exchequer.
Due to the Russia-Ukraine War and other subsidies already in force, the ministry said that the extension of the scheme will bring it under further financial pressure as around Rs 2.6 lakh crore has already been spent on PMGKAY.
Due to additional financial liability, the sources said that the ministry had recommended a reduction in the quantity of food grains provided under PMGKAY.
PMGKAY was launched during the lockdown to benefit more than 80 crore people covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). The extra free grains are over and above the normal quota provided under the NFSA at a subsidised rate of Rs 2-Rs3 per kg.
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