Govt extends free ration scheme for next three months | India News

NEW DELHI: The government on Wednesday extended the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) scheme to provide free ration to the poor for the next three months.
“Free ration to 80 crore for three more months till December 2022 to cost Rs 44,700 crore,” Union minister Anurag Thakur said.
The PMGKAY was launched in March 2020 to provide free 5 kg foodgrains per person per month to about 80 crore beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) to reduce their hardship during the lockdown period.
With the Covid-19 crisis continuing in 2021-22, the Centre had in April 2021 re-introduced the scheme 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).
The scheme was again extended from December 2021 to March 2022 (Phase-V). On March 26, the Centre had extended the scheme to provide 5 kg of foodgrains free of cost to the poor by six months till September 30 at a cost of Rs 80,000 crore. The total expenditure under PMGKAY has touched nearly Rs 3.40 lakh crore.
The free grains are over and above the normal quota provided under the NFSA at a highly subsidised rate of Rs 2-3 per kg. The government has allocated over 1,000 lakh tonnes of free foodgrains under the PMGKAY till Phase VI.

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