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Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY)

  • 30 Sep 2022
  • 4 min read

For Prelims: Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY), National Food Security Act 2013, Public Distribution System (PDS), National Food Security Mission, One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC).

For Mains: Impacts of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY) on India's Food Security.

Why in News?

Recently, The Central government announced an extension of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY) for another three months until December 2022.

What is PM-GKAY?

  • About:
    • PMGKAY is a part of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) to help the poor fight the battle against Covid-19.
    • The scheme aimed at providing each person who is covered under the National Food Security Act 2013 with an additional 5 kg grains (wheat or rice) for free, in addition to the 5 kg of subsidised foodgrain already provided through the Public Distribution System (PDS).
    • It was initially announced for a three-month period (April, May and June 2020), covering 80 crore ration cardholders. Later it was extended till September 2022.
    • Its nodal Ministry is the Ministry of Finance.
    • The benefit of the free ration can be availed through portability by any migrant labour or beneficiary under the One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) plan from nearly 5 lakh ration shops across the country.
  • Cost: The overall expenditure of PMGKAY will be about Rs. 3.91 lakh crore for all the phases.
  • Challenges: The beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act are based on the last census (2011). The number of food-insecure people has increased since then and they remain uncovered.
  • Issues:
    • Expensive: It’s very expensive for the government to sustain and increases the need for an abundant supply of cheap grains. In 2022, India has had to restrict exports of wheat and rice after erratic weather hurt harvest, adding to pressure on food prices, and rattling global agricultural markets.
    • Increase Fiscal Deficit: It could pose a risk to the government’s target to further narrow the fiscal deficit to 6.4% of gross domestic product.
    • Inflation: The decision on the program could also affect inflation. The prices of rice and wheat, which make up about 10% of India’s retail inflation, are seeing an uptick due to lower production amid a heatwave and patchy monsoon.

What are the Related Initiatives Introduced by the Government?

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ)

Mains

Q. What are the salient features of the National Food Security Act, 2013? How has the Food Security Bill helped in eliminating hunger and malnutrition in India? (2021)

Source: TH

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