“Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana” – 30% recipients yet to get grains for May

What is the News?

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs has informed about the status of food grains disturbed under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana(PMGKAY).

About Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana(PMGKAY):
  • Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana was announced as part of the relief package during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Aim: To ensure sufficient food for the poor and needy during the coronavirus crisis.
  • Nodal Ministry: Department of Food and Public Distribution under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
  • Features: Under the scheme, about 80 Crore National Food Security Act (NFSA) beneficiaries are eligible for an additional quota of free-of-cost foodgrains (Rice/Wheat). It is provided at a scale of 5 Kg per person per month over and above their regular monthly entitlement.
Performance of the Scheme:
  • Almost a third of all ration cardholders are yet to get their free foodgrains allocation for May under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana.
  • However, almost 90% of beneficiaries have received their regular subsidised foodgrains for this month. This raises questions over why the free grain under PMGKAY has reached fewer beneficiaries.
  • Moreover, states such as Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Odisha and Rajasthan did not even begin distribution of the May quota under the PMGKAY.
Government advisory on Migrant workers without ration cards:
  • The Government of India has issued an advisory. In that, the Center asked the states to launch a special drive to issue ration cards to the most vulnerable sections of society, including migrant workers and street dwellers. There was a nationwide coverage gap of only 1.97 crore beneficiaries.
    • In May, the Supreme Court had directed that migrant workers and poor people without ration cards should be provided with dry ration in any scheme found suitable by the States and Centre.
  • However, these ration cards must be issued within the existing coverage allowed for each State under the National Food Security Act(NFSA).
  • Since most of the States had already reached their quota limits under NFSA. They would not be able to enrol any new beneficiaries.

Source: The Hindu

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