Government approves extension of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY), from July 2021 up to November, 2021
Key Highlights Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana:
- The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister has approved allocation of additional foodgrains under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (Phase IV) – for another period of 5 months i.e. July to November, 2021 @ 5 kg per person per month free of cost for maximum 81.35 Crore beneficiaries covered under National Food Security Act (NFSA) (Antyodaya Anna Yojana and Priority Households) including those covered under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).
- To ensure food security of poor/vulnerable beneficiaries/households in the wake of economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. Under PM-GKAY food grains was allocated by the Department to all States/UTs.
- In 2021, owing to the on-going severe COVID-19 pandemic across the country and the economic disruptions in its wake, Government of India had announced to implement the “Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana”(PM-GKAY) for a period of two months i.e., May 2021 and June 2021 at an estimated expenditure of about Rs. 26,602 Crore, on the same lines as PMGKAY 2020.
- A total allocation of over 79 LMT of foodgrains was done for the purpose. Under PM-GKAY 2021 (May – June 2021), so far, more than 76Lakh MT Foodgrains, i.e. more than 96% of the allocated foodgrains have been lifted by States/UTs. Further, more than 35 Lakh MT food grains (i.e. around90% of monthly allocation) have been distributed by States/UTs for May 2021and more than 23 Lakh MT food grains (i.e. around 59% of monthly allocation)have been distributed for June 2021. Around 80 crore NFSA beneficiaries are receiving 5 Kg additional free-of-cost foodgrains (wheat or rice) for the months of May 2021 and June, 2021.
- On a review of the continuing COVID 19 situation in the country and to help the poor and the needy during the crisis, Prime Minister in his address to the nation on 7th June 2021, announced the extension of the PMGKAY (2021) Scheme for a further period of five month still Diwali in November, 2021. An additional allocation of 5 kg of foodgrains(Wheat or Rice), free of cost, involving a total quantity of around 204 LMT of foodgrains for a period of further 5 months will be provided to around 80 Crore NFSA beneficiaries with an estimated financial implication of up to Rs. 67,266Crore. This additional free of cost allocation of food grains will be over and above the regular monthly food grains allocated for beneficiaries covered under the NFSA. The entire cost of this additional allocation under PM-GKAY, including the expenditure on intra state transportation, dealers’ margin etc., will be borne by Government of India without any sharing by States/UTs.
- Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) is a food security welfare scheme announced by the Government of India in March 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic in India.
- The program is operated by the Department of Food and Public Distribution under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
- The scheme aims 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).
- PMGKAY provides 5 kg of rice or wheat (according to regional dietary preferences) per person and 1 kg of dal to each family holding a ration card.
- The scale of this welfare scheme makes it the largest food security program in the world.
- 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.
Allocation Till Now:
- Out of a total monthly allocation of 39.69 lakh Metric Tonnes (MT) under the PMGKAY, 15.55 lakh MT have been lifted by states.
- 1.01 lakh MT have been distributed to 2.03 crore beneficiaries till May 2021.
Benefits of PM Garib Kalyan Package
To reduce the loss caused by the outbreak of Covid-19 in India, the Finance Minister launched the PM Garib Kalyan Package on March 26th, 2020 for the BPL families.
Some of the benefits provided by the PM Garib Kalyan Package are as follows:
- An Insurance Cover of Rs. 50 Lakh
Under this PM Garib Kalyan Scheme, any health worker in government hospitals and healthcare centres who are treating the Covid-19 patients would be provided with an insurance cover of Rs. 50 lakh if met with some accident. These health workers include Safai karamcharis, ward-boys, nurses, ASHA workers, paramedics, technicians, doctors, and specialists. All government health centres, wellness centres, and hospitals of Centres as well as States would be covered under this scheme. Approximately 22 lakh health workers would be provided insurance cover to fight this pandemic.
- Free Pulses for the next 3 months under PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana
The Government of India declared to provide free resources of 5 kg wheat or rice and 1 kg of preferred pulses for 80 crore poor people three months under the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana. Each one of them was provided double of their current entitlement over the next three months to ensure adequate availability of protein to all Covid-19 affected BPL families.
- Benefit to farmers
The Government front-loaded Rs. 2,000 paid to farmers in the first week of April under the existing PM Kisan Yojana which will benefit 8.7 crore farmers.
- Free LPG cylinders to the BPL families
The Finance Minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman made an announcement on 26th March 2020 to provide free cylinders to the BPL (Below Poverty Line) families for the three months since the announcement was made under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY).
- To help the low wage earners in organized sectors
The PM Garib Kalyan Package will also help the Wage-earners who are earning below Rs. 15,000 per month in businesses that are having less than 100 workers. The wage workers who are at risk of losing their employment were provided with 24 percent of their monthly wages into their PF accounts for the three months, from the announcement date, which would prevent disruption in their employment.
Apart from the above-mentioned benefits, MNREGA wages would also be increased by Rs. 20 with effect from 1 April 2020 under PM Garib Kalyan Yojana. The wage increase under MNREGA will provide an additional Rs. 2,000 benefits annually to a worker which will benefit approximately 13.62 crore families. To know more about MNREGA, refer to the linked page.
- Families belonging to the Below Poverty Line – Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Households (PHH) categories will be eligible for the scheme.
- PHH are to be identified by State Governments/Union Territory Administrations as per criteria evolved by them. AAY families are to be identified by States/UTs as per the criteria prescribed by the Central Government:
- Households headed by widows or terminally ill persons or disabled persons or persons aged 60 years or more with no assured means of subsistence or societal support.
- Widows or terminally ill persons or disabled persons or persons aged 60 years or more or single women or single men with no family or societal support or assured means of subsistence.
- All primitive tribal households.
- Landless agriculture labourers, marginal farmers, rural artisans/craftsmen such as potters, tanners, weavers, blacksmiths, carpenters, slum dwellers, and persons earning their livelihood on daily basis in the informal sector like porters, coolies, rickshaw pullers, hand cart pullers, fruit and flower sellers, snake charmers, rag pickers, cobblers, destitutes and other similar categories in both rural and urban areas.
- All eligible Below Poverty Line families of HIV positive persons.
Failure of distribution due to corruption at ground level
Data released after PM Modi’s speech from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution revealed that most of the free grain failed to be distributed to intended recipients due to corruption among food dealers and village council members. Both Goa and Telangana distributed no grain at all with a further 11 (Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Ladakh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Odisha, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, and Tripura) distributing less than 1% of their allocated amount in April and May 2020. A further six (Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Sikkim, and Ladakh) also distributed zero grain in June 2020.