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As thousands of migrants on move again, grain scheme for poor back

The new version of the scheme does not, however, include an important component of last year's PM-GKAY – 1 kg pulses per month free to each household under the NFSA.

Written by Harikishan Sharma | New Delhi |
April 24, 2021 3:19:56 am
Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, migrants, National Food Security Act, indian migrants, Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, india news, indian expressMigrant workers arrive in Patna, from various states. (PTI)

With thousands of migrants headed back to their towns and villages amid lockdown-like restrictions in several big cities, the government on Friday said it was restarting the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY) to provide additional 5 kg of foodgrains per month free to beneficiaries covered by the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013.

The new version of the scheme does not, however, include an important component of last year’s PM-GKAY – 1 kg pulses per month free to each household under the NFSA.

The Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said the additional foodgrains will be provided to individual beneficiaries of the NFSA for the two months of May and June.

“Under this special scheme (PM-GKAY), 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,” the Ministry said.

“Government of India will bear full expenditure of over Rs 26,000 crore on account of cost of foodgrains, intra-state transportation, etc. as part of central assistance to States/UTs,” it said.

The Ministry said the decision to allocate free foodgrains to NFSA beneficiaries was in line with “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment to the poor”.

The announcement comes after governments of Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, and Kerala, and several Opposition leaders including NCP chief Sharad Pawar, senior Trinamool MP Sougata Ray, and CPI Rajya Sabha member Binoy Viswam, wrote to the Centre.

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