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Centre’s Free Foodgrain Scheme Extended To September

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Noting that India’s strength lies in the power of each of its citizens, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that the government decided to extend PMGKAY, its free foodgrain programme, by six more months to add to this power.

With the scheme now extended till September 2022, he said, over 80 crore people will continue to avail the benefit like before. This decision was taken in a cabinet meeting chaired by Modi.

In March 2020, the centre had launched the scheme, Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, to provide free foodgrains to over 80 crore beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act as part of its efforts to reduce the hardships of people during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Centre provides 5 kilogram of foodgrains per month for free under this scheme. The additional free grain is over and above the normal quota provided under the NFSA at a highly subsidised rate of Rs 2-3 per kg.

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The scheme has been extended five times with the recent extension ending on Mar. 31 2022. Under phases I to V, the food ministry had allocated a total of about 759 lakh tonnes of foodgrains to the states/union territories, which is equivalent to about Rs 2.6 lakh crore in food subsidy. Including the extension, PMGKAY will distribute 1,003 lakh tonnes foodgrain at a cost of Rs 3.4 lakh crore to the exchequer.

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