Government okays additional free foodgrains until November


By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The Union Cabinet, in its meeting on Wednesday chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved allocation of additional foodgrain under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (Phase IV) for five more months. Beneficiaries can avail 5 kg foodgrains per head during July-November as part of the relief measure announced by the Prime Minister earlier.

The foodgrains will be available free of cost for a maximum of 81.35 crore beneficiaries covered under National Food Security Act, including those covered under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), said the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in an official statement.

 “Around 80 crore NFSA beneficiaries 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. Under PM-GKAY2020, (April-November 2020), a total of about 321 lakh MT foodgrains was allocated to all states/UTs, while about 305 lakh MT foodgrains were lifted by states/UTs and a total of about 298 LMT of foodgrains (around 93%  of allocated quantity) was distributed all over the country,” added the PMO.

The Centre had earlier announced to implement the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY) for two months, May-June, 2021, at an estimated expenditure of about `26,602 crore, on the same lines as PMGKAY 2020. “A total allocation of over 79 LMT of foodgrains was done for the purpose. Under PM-GKAY 2021 (May-June 2021), so far, more than 76 lakh MT foodgrains, more than 96%  of the allocated foodgrain have been lifted by states/UTs.

Further, more than 35 LMT food grains (around 90% of monthly allocation) have been distributed by states/UTs for May 2021 and more than 23 LMT foodgrains (around 59% of monthly allocation) have been distributed for June 2021,” stated the PMO. Around 80 crore NFSA beneficiaries are receiving 5 kg additional free-of-cost foodgrains (wheat or rice) for May-June, 2021. 

An additional allocation of 5 kg of foodgrains (wheat or rice), involving a total quantity of around 204 LMT for a period of further five months will be provided to around 80 crore NFSA beneficiaries with an estimated financial implication of up to `67,266 crore, said the PMO, adding that this additional allocation of foodgrains will be over and above the regular monthly foodgrains allocated for beneficiaries covered under the NFSA. 

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