Epidemic relief: Center expands 5 kg ration scheme under PMGKAY

Epidemic relief: Center expands 5 kg ration scheme under PMGKAY

Months ahead of crucial assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, the cabinet on Wednesday approved a bill to not only repeal three controversial agriculture laws, but also four free food grains distribution scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY). extended for the year. months longer than December.

Under PMGKAY, the Center gives an additional five kilograms of rice or wheat per month free of cost to the beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act (NFSA) over and above their normal monthly quota.

The Center will have to incur an additional expenditure of about Rs 53,344.52 crore on account of the expansion. An additional 16.3 million tonnes (MT) of food grains are planned to be distributed during this period.

So far in this financial year, the Center has spent an estimated additional subsidy of Rs 93,868 crore on PMGKAY, which was restarted in May after the second wave of Covid-19 for two months and later extended till November had gone. A total of 8 MT and 20.4 MT of food grains were allocated for the two expansions respectively.

With the latest extension, the Center will spend an additional Rs 1.47 trillion on food subsidy for PMGKAY this fiscal. The budget for the financial year 2021-22 (FY22) had projected a food subsidy of Rs 2.43 trillion, which was 42.54 per cent lower than the revised estimate of FY15.

The deduction was made on account of additional provision made in the last few years for loans taken from the National Small Savings Fund (NSSF) to accommodate the additional subsidy required for procurement and distribution by the Food Corporation of India . Eat.

“Overall, since the scheme was first launched in March 2020, the total cost of PMGKAY after today’s extension will be around Rs 2.6 trillion,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur told reporters.

  • Under PMGKAY, the Center gives an additional 5 kg of rice or wheat per month to the beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act
  • This expansion will cost the Center an additional Rs 53,344 crore.
  • An additional subsidy of Rs 93,868 crore is estimated so far on this scheme in this financial year.
<strong>agriculture law repealed</strong>

Meanwhile, the cabinet also approved the Agriculture Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 to take back three laws passed by Parliament last September.

This comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement on Friday that the government will withdraw three laws – Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Farmer Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, Price Assurance and Agricultural Services Act, and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.

Thakur told reporters that the cabinet has completed the formalities to repeal three agricultural laws. “It will be our priority to withdraw these three laws in the upcoming session of Parliament,” he said.

The winter session will start from November 29 and end on December 23.

Repeal of the three agricultural laws was a major demand of the United Kisan Morcha (SKM), a joint organization of about 40 farmer unions who have been opposing these reforms for almost a year.

<strong>'mere formality'</strong>

Terming the Union Cabinet’s decision as a mere formality, farmer leaders said they now want the government to address their other pending demands, most importantly a legal guarantee of Minimum Support Price (MSP).

“Today’s cabinet approval of a bill to repeal three agriculture laws, which have already been announced by PM Modi, was just a formality. Now, what we want from the government is to take our other demands,” Shiv Kumar ‘Kaka’ of Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh (RKM) told PTI.

Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait clarified in a tweet on Wednesday that the agitation is not over yet. “This protest will not end yet. We have a meeting on November 27 after which we will take further decisions. (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi ji has said that farmers’ income will double from January 1, so I will ask them how it will happen. The victory of the farmers will be ensured when they get the right price for their crops,” said Tikait.

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