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Modi government extends free grain policy

The scheme, which started when India went into stringent lockdown two years back, was to end on March 31
Representational image.
Representational image.
File photo

Our Bureau   |   New Delhi   |   Published 27.03.22, 01:40 AM

The Modi government on Saturday extended the scheme to provide 5 kg of food grains free of cost to the poor by six months till September 30 at a cost of Rs 80,000 crore.

The scheme, which started when India went into stringent lockdown two years back, was to end on March 31.

In the last two years, around Rs 2.6 lakh crore has  been spent under this scheme and it will cost another Rs 80,000 crore with the extension of six months.

In March 2020, the Centre had launched the scheme —Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY) — to provide free 5 kg foodgrains per person per month to over 80 crore beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) to reduce the hardships of people during the Covid pandemic.

The additional free grains are over and above the normal quota provided under the NFSA at a highly subsidised rate of Rs 2-3 per kg.

“Even though the Covid-19 pandemic has significantly abated and economic activities are gathering momentum, this PM-GKAY extension would ensure that no poor household goes to bed without food during this time of recovery,” the statement said.

Under the extended PM-GKAY each beneficiary will get additional 5 kg free ration per person per month in addition to his normal quota of foodgrains under the NFSA.

“This means that every poor household would get nearly double the normal quantity of ration,” the statement said.



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