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Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana:  

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

 

Context:

In keeping with the concern and sensitivity towards poor and vulnerable sections of society, the Government has extended the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY) scheme for another six months i.e., till September 2022 (Phase VI).

  • The Phase-V of PM-GKAY scheme was to end in March 2022.
  • It may be recalled that the PM-GKAY has been under implementation since April 2020, as the largest food security program in the world.

 

About PMGKAY:

During the ongoing crisis owing to Covid-19 Pandemic, Union Government announced Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY) providing free food grains to the affected population.

PMGKAY is a part of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) to help the poor fight the battle against Covid-19.

  • Its nodal Ministry is the Ministry of Finance.
  • It was initially announced for a three-month period (April, May and June 2020), covering 80 crore ration cardholders. Later it was extended till November 2020.
  • However, in April 2021, the government had announced its decision to restart the scheme as PMGKAY-III.

The salient features of the scheme are:

  • 80 crore individuals, i.e, roughly two-thirds of India’s population would be covered under this scheme.
  • Insurance cover of Rs 50 Lakh per health worker fighting COVID-19 to be provided under Insurance Scheme.
  • 80 crore poor people will to get 5 kg wheat or rice and 1 kg of preferred pulses for free every month for the next three months.
  • 20 crore women Jan Dhan account holders to get Rs 500 per month for next three months.
  • Increase in MNREGA wage to Rs 202 a day from Rs 182 to benefit 13.62 crore families.
  • Government to front-load Rs 2,000 paid to farmers in first week of April under existing PM Kisan Yojana to benefit 8.7 crore farmers.

Expenditure:

Government of India will bear all expenditure of over Rs. 26,000 crore on account of food subsidy and Central assistance to states/UTs on account of intra-state transportation etc.

Challenge:

  • A key issue is that the beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act are based on the last census (2011).
  • The number of food-insecure people has increased since then and they remain uncovered.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Buffer Stocks & Food Security.
  2. Public Distribution System (PDS).
  3. PMGKY.
  4. NFSA.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of National Food Security Act.

Sources: the Hindu.