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regular-article-logo Thursday, 23 May 2024

Centre to extend free supply of 5kg foodgrains per month

Free foodgrains under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) scheme, announced in March last year to provide relief to the poor during the Covid pandemic

PTI New Delhi Published 25.11.21, 02:10 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. File photo

The Centre on Wednesday decided to further extend the free supply of 5kg foodgrains per month under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Anna Yojana for four months till March 2022, a decision that will cost an additional Rs 53,344 crore to the exchequer.

The decision, which will benefit over 80 crore ration card holders covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), was taken in the Cabinet meeting headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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Free foodgrains under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) scheme, announced in March last

year to provide relief to the poor during the Covid pandemic, is over and above the normal quota provided under the NFSA at a highly subsidised rate of Rs 2-3 per kilogram.

The PMGKAY has been extended several times, and the previous extension was valid till November 30. The total cost of the PMGKAY would touch about Rs 2.6 lakh crore, including all five phases of this ongoing programme.

Food secretary Sudhanshu Pandey said: “It is a pro-active measure to support people when they are in the process of recovery.”

Asked if this decision was taken to help the Uttar Pradesh government, which had announced early November the extension of this scheme till Holi, the secretary said, “The decision has not been taken for one state, it is for the entire country.”

Power distribution

The government on Wednesday approved the formation of a special purpose vehicle to privatise the electricity distribution business in the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.

A meeting of the cabinet also approved the sale of equity shares of the newly formed special purpose vehicle for the company to the highest bidder and formation of trust(s) for serving employees' liabilities.

The said privatisation process will improve services to over 1.45 lakh consumers of the Union Territory in terms of operational improvements and functional efficiencies in distribution and provide a model for emulation by other utilities. A single distribution company — DNH-DD Power Distribution Corporation — would be incorporated as a wholly-owned government company.

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