In keeping with the concern and sensitivity towards poor and vulnerable sections of society,the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, has extended the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY) scheme for another six months i.e., till September 2022 (Phase VI).
The Phase-V of PM-GKAY scheme was to end in March 2022. It may be recalled that the PM-GKAY has been under implementation since April 2020, as the largest food security program in the world.
The Government has spent approximately Rs. 2.60 Lakh Crore so far and another Rs. 80,000 Crore will be spent over the next 6 months till September 2022 taking the total expenditure under PM-GKAY to nearly Rs. 3.40 Lakh Crore.
This will cover nearly 80 crore beneficiaries across India and like before would be fully funded by the Government of India.
Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly abated and economic activities are gathering momentum, this PM-GKAY extension would ensure that no poor household goes to bed without food during this time of recovery.
Under the extended PM-GKAY each beneficiary will get additional 5 kg free ration per person per month in addition to his normal quota of foodgrains under the NFSA. This means that every poor household would get nearly double the normal quantity of ration.
It is worth highlighting that the Government had allocated about 759 LMT of free foodgrains under the PM-GKAY till Phase V. With another 244 LMT of free foodgrains under this extension (Phase VI), the aggregate allocation of free foodgrains under the PM-GKAY now stand at 1,003 LMT of foodgrains.
The benefit of free ration can be availed through portability by any migrant labour or beneficiary under One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) plan from nearly 5 lakh ration shops across the country. So far, over 61 Crore portability transactions have benefitted the beneficiaries away from their homes.
This has been made possible due to highest ever procurement despite the century’s worst pandemic with highest ever payment to farmers by the Government. For this record production in the agricultural fields Indian Farmers –‘Annadata’ deserves to be complimented.
Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022 passed by both houses
The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022 was passed in the Rajya Sabha on 6 April. Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah moved the Bill for consideration and passing in the Upper House. The Bill seeks to authorize for taking measurements of convicts and other persons for the purposes of identification and investigation in criminal matters and to preserve records. Lok Sabha passed the Bill on April 4.
Meanwhile, the Lok Sabha on April 6 passed the Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Amendment Bill, 2022.
3510 farmers benefitted in RMS 2022-23 with MSP value of Rs. 70.36 crore
Procurement of wheat has recently commenced in Rabi Marketing Season 2022-23 in the States of Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. A quantity of 34917 MT of wheat has been procured upto 03.04.2022 benefitting 3510 farmers with MSP value of Rs. 70.36 crore. The paddy procurement is progressing smoothly in Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2021-22 at MSP from farmers. A quantity of 750.29 LMT of Paddy has been procured in KMS 2021-22 upto 03.04.2022 in procuring States/UTs. Till now about 108.01 Lakh farmers have been benefitted with MSP value of Rs. 1,47,055.95 crore.