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Weighing on PM-GKAY Scheme

  • Published
    18th Nov, 2022
Context

The Central government had announced an extension of the Pradhan MantriGaribKalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY) for another three months until December 2022.

 

About

The PMGK Anna Yojana:

  • The Pradhan MantriGaribKalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) is a free food grain scheme introduced in March 2020.
  • Objective: To alleviate Covid distress.
  • The scheme as part of Atmanirbhar Bharat to supply free food grains to migrants and poor
  • Different Phases:
    • Phase-I and Phase-II of this scheme was operational from April to June, 2020 and July to November, 2020 respectively.
    • Phase-III of the scheme was operational from May to June, 2021.
    • Phase-IV of the scheme during July-November, 2021 and
    • Phase V from December 2021 till March, 2022.
    • Phase VI from April-September, 2022.
  • Financial implication for the Central government has been about Rs.3.45 Lakh Crore up to Phase-VI of PMGKAY.
    • The PMGKAY scheme for Phase VII from September to December 2022 would entail an estimated additional food subsidy of 44,762 Crore.
  • The total outgo in terms of food grains for PMGKAY Phase VII is likely to be about 122 LMT.
  • Benefits allocated:
    • PMGKAY beneficiaries get 5kg free ration per person per month in addition to their normal quota of food grains under the National Food Security Act.
    • Under NFSA, highly subsidised food grains are provided to about 75% rural and 50% urban population of the country.
  • Eligibility:
    • Families belonging to the Below Poverty Line - Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Households (PHH) categories will be eligible for the scheme.
    • 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.
    • All primitive tribal
    • 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 are included under the scheme.

Is it required to further extend the scheme?

According to the Studies, there is no such need to extend the scheme due to following reasons:

  • Overlap with other poverty alleviation schemes like;
    • The Public Distribution System (PDS): Under the PDS, presently the commodities namely wheat, rice, sugar and keroseneare being allocated to the States/UTs for distribution.
    • Some States/UTs also distribute additional items of mass consumption through the PDS outlets such as pulses, edible oils, iodized salt, spices, etc.
    • Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY):Provide them grains at a highly subsidised rate of Rs.2 per kg for wheat and 3 per kg for rice and Re. 1 for coarse grains.
    • The chosen households are entitled to 35kg of food grains per month.
  • Can lead to Corruption:As already there are many schemes going in States and by Centre, the fund allocated for PM-GKAY may be misused and lead to corruption
  • Inadequate data representation:Due to lack of proper survey after implementation of schemes, the outdated data can lead to misguide governments’ revenue and sources.

Regulatory Bodies involved:

  • Public Food Distribution System in States
  • Ministry of health and Family welfare
  • Ministry of finance
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