New Delhi: The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has approved further extension of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) as part of Economic Response to COVID-19 for additional allocation of food-grains from the Central Pool for another Five months from July to November, 2020.
In the month of March 2020, the Government of India announced the 'Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP)1 to ameliorate the hardships faced by the poor due to economic disruptions caused by the Covid-19 in the country. This package inter-alia comprises the implementation of "Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY)”, through which additional free-of-cost foodgrains (Rice/Wheat) at the scale of 5 Kg per person per month are being provided to about 81 Crore beneficiaries covered under National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA), so that poor and vulnerable families/beneficiaries are able to access food-grains easily without facing any financial distress. Under this programme initially, free food-grains for three months i.e. April, May and June were provided.
However, keeping in view the need for continuous support to the poor and the needy, the PM-GKAY scheme has been extended further for a period of next 5 months i.e. July- November 2020.
Earlier, under PMGKAY, this Department on 30/03/2020, had allocated a total of about 120 Lakh Metric Tons (LMT) foodgrains to the States/UTs to be distributed-for three months (April-June, 2020). Accordingly, the FCI and other State Agencies have delivered over 116.5 LMT (97%) of total 120 LMT of food-grains to all the States/UTs for distribution under this special scheme. So far, all States/UTs combined have reported the distribution of nearly107 LMT (89% of allocated food-grain) for the period April-June, 2020. So far, about 74.3 Cr. Beneficiaries have been covered in April and 74.75 Cr. Beneficiaries have been covered in May and about 64.72 Cr, beneficiaries in June 2020 have taken the benefit of these additional free-of-cost foodgrains over and above their regular NFSA food-grains. The distribution is ongoing and reporting of distribution figures will be updated once distribution is complete. Some States also distributed PM-GKAY food-grains for two-or-three months at one-go, owing to various logistical reasons.
Under the regular NFSA distribution, during the months of April, May and June 2020, about 252 LMT of NFSA and PM-GKAY foodgrains were moved by FCI all over the country using their robust supply network. Remote and inaccessible locations were continuously fed through other modes like Air and Water routes for timely supply of food-grains to reach out to beneficiaries. It is worth mentioning that, while maintaining the supply chains very efficiently even during the complete lockdown, FCI and the Department ensured uninterrupted delivery of foodgrains to beneficiaries, under the NFSA and PM-GKAY scheme. Further, IT driven PDS reforms, like, digitised EPoS machine network of nearly 4.88lakh (90.3%) out of total 5.4 lakh Fair Price Shops (FPSs) and End-to-End Computerization of Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) and Supply Chain Management were leveraged during the testing times despite temporary temporary suspension of biometric authentication in many states.
During April-May-June last year 2019, this Department had allocated a total of about 130.2 LMT of foodgrains under NFSA out of which a total of nearly 123 LMT (95% foodgrain) were lifted by the States/UTs. Whereas, during the same period of three months April-May-June 2020, this Department had allocated a total of about 252 LMT foodgrains for the same beneficiaries (132 LMT under NFSA and 120 LMT under PMGKAY), out of which more than 247 LMT have been lifted and 226 LMT have been distributed so far to the NFSA beneficiaries during the last three months which shows that nearly double the normal quantity off food-grains have been distributed as much needed succour to people.
With the current extension of PMGKAY for another 5 months till November. 2020, the same robust supply and distribution of food-grains shall be sustained. This would entail an additional estimated expenditure of Rs 76062 crore on account of cost and distribution of food-grains.