Free food grains for 81.35 cr beneficiaries for 5 years

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | November 29, 2023 IST

Rice

New Delhi, Nov 29: The Union Cabinet today decided that the Central government will provide free food grains to about 81.35 crore beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) for a period of five years with effect from 1st January, 2024.

This is a historic decision that places PMGKAY amongst the world’s biggest social welfare schemes aimed at ensuring food and nutrition security for 81.35 crore persons, at an estimated  cost of Rs. 11.80 lakh crore over a 5 year period.

The decision reflects the strong commitment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi towards efficient and targeted welfare through fulfilment of basic food and nutrition requirements of the population. Ensuring food security at this scale during Amrit Kaal would play a pivotal role in dedicating efforts towards building an aspirational and developed India.

Free food grains (rice, wheat and coarse grains/millets) under PMGKAY for 5 years from 1.1.2024 will strengthen food security and mitigate any financial hardship of the poor and vulnerable sections of the population. It would provide Nation-wide uniformity in delivery of food grains free of cost in all States/UTs through a network of over 5 lakh Fair Price Shops under a common logo.

It will also enable ease of living, in terms of allowing beneficiaries to lift free of cost food-grains from any fair price shop in the country under the ONORC-One Nation One Ration Card- initiative. This initiative is of enormous benefit for  migrants, facilitating both intra and inter State portability of entitlements as part of technology based reforms under Digital India. The free food grains will concurrently ensure uniform implementation of portability under One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) across the country and will further strengthen this choice-based platform.

The approximate food subsidy for five years for distribution of food grains under PMGKAY will be to the tune of Rs. 11.80 lakh crore. Thus, the Centre will spend approx. Rs. 11.80 lakh crore during the period of next five years as food subsidy under PMGKAY, to provide free food grains to the targeted population.

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