Government’s Scheme PMGKAY : Daily Current Affairs

Date: 30/09/2022

Relevance: GS-2: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes.

Key Phrases: Food subsidy expenses, Subsidised grain supplies, National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013, Food Corporation of India, Department of Food and Public Distribution, Buffer stock, Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, food security, Direct Transfer Benefit.

Why in News?

  • The government’s original estimate for food subsidies through the public distribution system for FY23 was ₹2 trillion.


  • In a move that could stretch public finances, the Union Cabinet has extended the government’s scheme to provide free food grains to the poor by three months till 31 December,2022.
  • Extending the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) comes at an additional outlay of ₹44,762 crores, taking the scheme’s total expenditure to about ₹3.91 trillion.

Why has the Government decided to continue the scheme?

  • The government said it was extending the free food programme so that the poor and vulnerable are supported for the forthcoming major festivals like Navratri, Dussehra, Milad-un-nabi, Diwali, Chhath Pooja, Gurunanak Dev Jayanti and Christmas.
  • Amid a decline in the production of wheat and fear of shortages in the country, through this extension, the government will provide food security to the poor, needy and vulnerable households and beneficiaries so that they do not suffer on account of non-availability of adequate food grains.

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana

  • The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana was launched in April, 2020, and is also operating at present.
  • It is a comprehensive relief package of Rs 1.70 Lakh Crore Yojana for the poor to help them fight the battle against Corona Virus.
  • Under this welfare scheme, 5 kg of food grain per person per month will be continued to be provided free of cost for all the beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act including those covered under Direct Benefit Transfer.
  • It was announced to reach out to the poorest of the poor, with food and money in hands, so that they do not face difficulties in buying essential supplies and meeting essential needs.

Objectives of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY):

  • This is the world’s largest food security scheme launched by the Government of India to combat COVID-induced economic disruptions.
  • The scheme aims to ensure food safety (of the poor) by providing food items.
  • Its primary objective is to provide free food grains to the eligible beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act, 2013.
  • The PMGKY was initially launched to bring back black money from tax evaders by offering them protection from government prosecution.

Benefits of PM Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY):

  • PMGKY benefits are classified into two parts. These are -
    • Food Security:
      • The Government announced that 80 crore people will receive 5kg of wheat or rice and 1kg of preferred pulses every month till the scheme in force.
      • This benefit is available under PM Garib Ann Yojana, a part of PM Garib Kalyan Yojana. The Government provides this benefit with an addition to 5 kg of rice or wheat that those individuals receive every month.
    • Direct Transfer Benefit (DBT):
      • Increased Daily Wage: Workers under MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment) got an additional ₹20 (wage increased from ₹182 to ₹ 202) for 100 days which results in an increase of ₹2000. This increased wage benefited 5 crore families.
      • Benefits for Jan Dhan Women Account Holders: 20 crore women account holders of Jan Dhan Yojana received ex-gratia of ₹500 per month.
      • Additional Payment to Farmers: The Government offered ₹2000 additionally as a front-load under ongoing PM Kisan Nidhi Yojana.
      • Advantages for Poor Senior, Poor Disabled, and Poor Widows: Under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, the Government pays ₹1000 of ex-gratia to 3 crores poor senior, poor disabled, and poor widows.
      • Free LPG Cylinders: Over 8 crore families belonging to the BPL category and have LPG connection under the Ujjawala scheme got gas cylinders free of cost.
      • Construction Workers: Under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, 3.5 crores registered construction and building workers benefited from the allotted welfare fund. The Central Government has instructed the State Government to judicially utilise the fund and protect construction workers against economic disruptions.

National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013:

  • The National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013, represents a paradigm shift in the aspect of food security, moving away from a welfare-based approach to one based on rights.
  • The Act provides for coverage of upto 75% of the rural population and upto 50% of the urban population for receiving subsidized food-grains under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), thus covering about two-thirds of the population.
  • The eligible persons will be entitled to receive 5 Kgs of food grains per person per month at subsidised prices of Rs. 3/2/1 per Kg for rice/wheat/coarse grains.

Source: Live-Mint

Mains Question:

Q. Despite a situation of high fiscal deficit why the government extended Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana by three months till 31 December, 2022. (250 words).