19.76 LMT foodgrains distributed among beneficiaries under Phase-V of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana
Under the PM-GKAY scheme (Phases I to V), the department has so far allocated a total of about 759 Lakh MT foodgrains to the states/UTs for distribution among around 80 crore NFSA beneficiaries, free of cost, which is equivalent to about Rs. 2.6 lakh crore in food subsidy.
New Delhi: In the wake of COVID-19 outbreak in the country in March 2020, pursuant to the announcement of the pro-poor ‘Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP)’ by the Government of India, Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD) had started the distribution of ‘additional’ and ‘free-of-cost’ foodgrains (Rice/Wheat) to around 80 Crore National Food Security Act (NFSA) beneficiaries in the country under the “Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY)” to ameliorate the food security hardships faced by the poor and needy due to unprecedented outbreak of the pandemic, lockdowns and thus the economic disruptions caused across the country.
The additional foodgrains are distributed at the scale of 5 Kg per person per month, over and above their regular monthly NFSA foodgrains (i.e., monthly entitlement of their respective NFSA ration cards) as a measure to ensure that no poor, vulnerable or needy beneficiary/ beneficiary household suffers due to non-availability of foodgrains during the pandemic induced economic crises.
Thus, through this special food security response during COVID-19 crisis, the Government has almost ‘doubled’ the quantity of monthly foodgrains, being distributed normally to the NFSA households under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Householders (PHH) categories of the Act.
Initially in 2020-21, the PM-GKAY scheme was announced only for a period of three months of April, May and June 2020 (Phase-I). Later, keeping in view the continuous need to support the food-security of poor and the needy beneficiaries, the Government had extended the distribution of free-foodgrains for a further period of five months from July to November 2020 (Phase-II).
However, with the COVID-19 crisis continuing in 2021-22, the Government in April 2021 had again announced the distribution of free foodgrains under PM-GKAY for a period of two months of May and June 2021 (Phase-III) and extended it for another five months from July to November 2021 (Phase-IV). Further, in November 2021, keeping in view the continuing hardship induced by COVID-19, Government of India had decided to further continue the distribution of free foodgrains from December 2021 to March 2022 (Phase-V).
Under the PM-GKAY scheme (Phases I to V), the department had so far allocated a total of about 759 Lakh MT foodgrains to the states/UTs for distribution to around 80 Crore NFSA beneficiaries, free of cost, which is equivalent to about Rs. 2.6 lakh crore in food subsidy. And, as per the phase wise distribution reports available from the states/UTs, so far, a cumulative total of about 580 Lakh MT foodgrains have been distributed to the beneficiaries.