Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY) is an integrated food security scheme launched by the Central Government of India In January 2023. The scheme aims to provide free food grains to more than 80 crore poor people across the country.
The scheme has been introduced amid criticism from the opposition over the discontinuation of the free monthly distribution of 5 Kilograms of food grains to poor people under a scheme also known as PMGKAY. The previous scheme was launched in April 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic and ended in December 2022.
Integration of existing schemes
The central government decided to subsume PMGKAY into two existing food subsidy schemes. The new integrated food security scheme named Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY) came into force on January 1, 2023.
Under the new scheme, free food grains will be provided to the poor beneficiaries as per the entitlement under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). The entitlement to food grains per person per month is 5 Kg for the priority households category and 35 Kg per family per month for Antodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) families. Until December 2022, the NFSA beneficiaries were getting their food grains entitlement at a highly subsidized rate of Rs 1, Rs 2, and Rs 3 per kg for coarse cereals, wheat, and rice, respectively. However, from January 2023, the beneficiaries will get it for free.
The central government will spend more than Rs 2 Lakh crore in 2023 on food subsidies under the NFSA and other welfare schemes to remove the financial burden of the poor. Necessary steps have already been taken for the smooth implementation of the PMGKAY in the field. The Ministry and State-Run Food Corporation Of India (FCI) officials are regularly interacting with state government officers for the smooth roll of the new scheme.
The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY) aims to provide free food grains to more than 80 crore people across the country. The integration of the scheme into two existing food subsidy schemes is expected to improve the overall implementation and reach the scheme to the needy people. The central government is expected to spend more than Rs 2 Lakh crore in 2023 as a food subsidy under the NFSA and other welfare schemes to remove the financial burden of the poor.