Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana
- Cabinet approves extension of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY) for another four months (December 2021-March 2022).
- This will be the fifth phase of the scheme.
- The total outgo of foodgrains in Phase V is expected to 163 LMT.
- It was announced in March 2020 as a Food Security Welfare scheme.
- Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana scheme is operated by the Department of Food and Public Distribution under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
- It is aimed to feed the poorest citizens of India by providing grain through the Public Distribution System, to all the priority households (ration card holders and those identified by the Antyodaya Anna Yojana scheme).
- Nodal Ministry- Ministry of finance
- It is also a part of Atmanirbhar Bharat (Self-reliant India) initiative.
- Objectives- To provide 5 kg of wheat and rice free of cost to 80 crore beneficiaries under NFSA, 2013 in addition to 5 kg subsidised foodgrains already provided under PDS.
Phases of the scheme
- Initially, it was announced for a period of three months (April, May and June 2020), covering more than 80 crore ration cardholders.
- Phase-I - April - June, 2020
- Phase-II- July - November, 2020
- Phase-III- May - June, 2021.
- Phase-IV - July-November, 2021
- Phase-V - 1 December 2021- March 2022 (yet to be started)
- PMGKAY - Phase 1 to 4 - total of almost 600 lakh Metric Tonnes (LMT) foodgrains has been allocated to the states/UTs (about Rs 2.07 lakh crore in food subsidy).
- PMGKAY Phase IV is currently in operation, and as per the reports available from states/UTs so far, 93.8 % food grains have been lifted.
- It is beneficial for daily wagers and informal sector entrepreneurs who lost their job during Lockdown.
Lack of an effective delivery system.
The scheme uses the last census that was held in 2011 to identify beneficiaries.
So far, the population of food-insecure, uncovered people in the country has increased to a large extent. Hence, it is important to identify true beneficiaries.
Also, the “Ghost Beneficiaries” are taking a lot of advantage from social security schemes.
Not all the people in the country are covered under Aadhar and hence, they are excluded.
The extension of this scheme is important for those marginalised and poor sections who have been hit worst by COVID , especially migrant and daily wage workers. Therefore, it is important to diffuse its benefits to those who really need them.