The Union Cabinet announced the extension of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) scheme for another five years, starting from January 1, 2024.
GS II- Government policies and Interventions
Dimensions of the Article:
- About Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana
- What are NFSA beneficiaries entitled to?
- How many persons are covered under the NFSA?
- How is the PM-GKAY different from the NFSA?
About Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana:
- It is considered as world’s largest food security scheme, aims at ensuring sufficient food for the poor and needy during the coronavirus crisis.
- It was announced as part of the first relief package during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Part of the scheme, the food needs to be provided to all the beneficiaries under public distribution system (TPDS) for Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and priority household (PHH) ration cardholders.
- As per updates, the eligible beneficiaries will receive 5kg of foodgrains and 1 kg Gram per month.
- Families belonging to the Below Poverty Line – Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Households (PHH) categories will be eligible for the scheme.
- PHH are to be identified by State Governments/Union Territory Administrations as per criteria evolved by them. AAY families are to be identified by States/UTs as per the criteria prescribed by the Central Government:
- Households headed by widows or terminally ill persons or disabled persons or persons aged 60 years or more with no assured means of subsistence or societal support.
- Widows or terminally ill persons or disabled persons or persons aged 60 years or more or single women or single men with no family or societal support or assured means of subsistence.
- All primitive tribal households.
- Landless agriculture labourers, marginal farmers, rural artisans/craftsmen such as potters, tanners, weavers, blacksmiths, carpenters, slum dwellers, and persons earning their livelihood on daily basis in the informal sector like porters, coolies, rickshaw pullers, hand cart pullers, fruit and flower sellers, snake charmers, rag pickers, cobblers, destitutes and other similar categories in both rural and urban areas.
- All eligible Below Poverty Line families of HIV positive persons.
What are NFSA beneficiaries entitled to?
- There are two categories of beneficiary households under the NFSA — the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) households, and the Priority Households (PHs).
- Each AAY household is entitled to 35 kg of foodgrains every month irrespective of the number of members in the household. PHs are entitled to receive foodgrains according to the number of family members.
- Each member of a PH is entitled to receive 5 kg of foodgrains every month under the NFSA. So, the bigger a PH family, the greater is the quantity of foodgrains it gets.
At what rate are foodgrains provided under the NFSA?
- NFSA beneficiaries are entitled to receive foodgrains at highly subsidised rates. Under the food law, rice is provided at Rs 3 per kg, wheat at Rs 2 per kg, and coarse grains at Re 1 per kg.
How many persons are covered under the NFSA?
- The NFSA, enacted by the UPA government in 2013, aims at ensuring “access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices” to 50 per cent of the urban and 75 per cent of the rural population of the country. The overall national coverage of the NFSA is about 67.5 per cent.
- Section 9 of the NFSA states that the number of persons to be covered in rural and urban areas of a state shall be calculated on the basis of population estimates as per the Census of which the relevant figures have been published.
- The latest published Census figures are from 2011, and based on that about 81.35 crore people can be covered by the NFSA.
- However, Food Ministry data show that of the accepted figure of 81.35 crore, 98.05 per cent, or 79.77 crore persons, had been identified until July 2022.
- Thus, even with the ceiling fixed at 81.35 crore, states can still identify and add about 1.58 crore people under the NFSA.
How is the PM-GKAY different from the NFSA?
- The NFSA is a right-based scheme under a law of Parliament, while the PM-GKAY is a scheme announced by the executive as a top-up to the entitlements of beneficiaries covered under the NFSA.
- So, only those people who were already getting subsidised foodgrains can get free foodgrains under the PM-GKAY.
- The PM-GKAY provides additional benefits to NFSA beneficiaries, but does not cover additional beneficiaries beyond the accepted limit of 81.35 crore persons under the NFSA.
-Source: The Hindu