The central government will be providing free foodgrain to nearly 80 crore people for the next two months (May and June), Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Friday. This will be facilitated through the PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana.
PM Narendra Modi stressed that it is important for the poor get nutritional support at a time when the country is facing the second wave of Covid-19.
The announcement came on the same day India reported over 3.32 lakh new coronavirus cases in a single day taking the country’s tally to 1,62,63,695, while active cases crossed the 24-lakh mark.
According to the plan, the Centre will be providing 5 kg free foodgrain to the beneficiaries. The central government said it will be spending more than Rs 26,000 crore on this.
“In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment to the poor, the Government of India has decided to allocate free-of-cost food grains @ 5 kg per person per month to nearly 80 crore beneficiaries covered under National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) over and above NFSA foodgrains for next two months i.e. May and June 2021 on the same pattern as the earlier Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY),” a government release said.
“Under this special scheme (PMGKAY), around 80 crore NFSA beneficiaries covered under both categories of NFSA, namely Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Householders (PHH), will be provided with an additional quota of free-of-cost foodgrains (Rice/Wheat) at a scale of 5 kg per person per month, over and above their regular monthly entitlements under NFSA,” it added.
The Centre had earlier provided free foodgrains during the coronavirus-induced lockdown last year. The government had announced the PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana for the first time in March last year under which it initially provided free foodgrain to the poor for three months (April-June). The scheme was later extended till November.