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Extension of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY)

  • Published
    6th Nov, 2023
Context:

The PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY) scheme was to end this December and it has been further extended for 5 years.

So, let’s look at the impacts of the same.

Impacts-

  • Positive Impacts:
    • Food Security: The extension provides continued food security for vulnerable sections of society.
      • The scheme's continuation ensures that approximately 80 crore beneficiaries receive free foodgrains, addressing the crucial issue of hunger in the country.
    • Social Welfare: It serves as a vital social welfare scheme that caters to the needs of underprivileged individuals by offering essential food items at highly subsidized rates.
      • It's a critical step towards alleviating poverty and malnutrition.
    • Negative Impacts:
    • Economic Implications: There might be concerns about the long-term economic implications of sustaining such a scheme, particularly concerning the budgetary allocation and fiscal pressure due to the substantial cost involved in providing free foodgrains.
    • Dependency: Continuous extension of free food distribution could potentially create a sense of dependency among certain sections of society, reducing their self-sufficiency and ability to become economically independent.
    • Highlights existence of Economic Distress and Inequality: This decision reflects the prolonged financial struggles faced by a significant portion of the populace.
      • Demonstrating the absence of substantial income growth in parallel with the steep rise in prices of essential goods, signifying persistent economic distress and growing economic inequality across the country.

Way Ahead:

  • Empowerment Programs: The government can initiate skill development and empowerment programs alongside the PMGKAY to facilitate the transition of beneficiaries towards self-sustainability.
  • Long-term Planning: Focus on initiatives for economic growth and job creation that can uplift the living standards of individuals, reducing their dependence on welfare schemes.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation: Implement strong monitoring mechanisms to ensure that the benefits of these welfare schemes are reaching the intended beneficiaries and making a positive impact.
  • Rationalization: Consider periodic evaluations to rationalize the scheme, ensuring that it remains targeted, efficient, and caters to those who need it the most, while preventing misuse or leakage of resources.
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