2nd phase of PM Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana
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General Studies 2:
- Government Schemes and policies; Welfare Schemes
General Studies 3:
- Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.
PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana will be extended by five months till the end of November. The scheme was announced as part of the first relief package during the COVID-19 pandemic for a three-month period.
Rationale behind the scheme – To ameliorate the hardship faced by the underprivileged or poor on the account of economic disruption caused by the Corona Virus and Lockdown
- To ensure that the poorest of the poor were not left hungry.
- Under this scheme, for the next five months, 5 kg of free rice or wheat, and 1 kg of chana will be provided free. This will ensure adequate availability of protein in their diet.
- 80 crore individuals would be covered under this scheme – about 19.4 crore households would be covered.
- It is an Rs 1.7-lakh crore financial package announced by the government to minimise the impact of Covid-19 lockdown on economy and poor.
- Also, it has provided an avenue for liquidation of this surplus rice and wheat.
The Way Forward
- There is a compelling need to increase the guaranteed employment to 200 days per year for all households nationwide and boost wages of those who are forced to live on wages less than the minimum wages stipulated for unskilled agricultural workers.
- Expansion and universalisation of the PDS, pensions, cash grants and employment guarantee schemes in both urban and rural areas are essential to tide through these difficult times.
During a crisis, the emphasis needs to be on including those who really deserve the help rather than making sure the wrong people are kept out. It’s precisely because the current systems are largely working that we can contemplate a universal benefits approach. This approach can be discontinued once the pandemic ends and the economic shocks abate.
Do you know?
- The existing National Food Security Act provides 5kg of foodgrain per person monthly at a subsidised rate of Rs 2-3 per kg to the country’s poor.
- Under the PMGKY, the ration quota was enhanced by another 5 kg for free for the next three months in March. (and now extended till November)
National Food Security Act
- Government of India enacted the National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA).
- The Act covers upto 75% of the rural population and upto 50% of the urban population.
- The targeted population shall receive subsidized foodgrains under Targeted Public Distribution System, thus covering about two-thirds of the population.
- Ministry involved: Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution.
Connecting the dots:
- What are the salient features of PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana? Has the scheme helped ensure food security for the most bulnerable population of India? Examine.
- Discuss the problems surrounding Food Subsidy in India. What are the plausible solutions that the Government should explore?
- Essay: MGNREGA and COVID-19