Free food grain scheme of the Indian government
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Important Takeaways

  • The government will provide free food grains under PMGKAY to 81.35 crore beneficiaries for 5 years starting January 2024.
  • Approximate expenditure of  ₹11.80 lakh crore earmarked for food subsidy during this period.
  • PMGKAY emerges as one of the world's largest social welfare schemes, ensuring food and nutrition security.


No edit has been made to this article since it was first published.


The Union Cabinet recently announced a groundbreaking decision to extend the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) for five years, starting January 1, 2024. The scheme is designed to support the food and nutrition security of approximately 81.35 crore beneficiaries. It is expected to cost the government an estimated ₹11.80 lakh crore over the next five years.

The PMGKAY initiative is one of the world's most significant social welfare programs, focusing on ensuring the well-being of 81.35 crore individuals. The Cabinet release stated that the approximate food subsidy for distributing food grains under PMGKAY will be around ₹11.80 lakh crore for the next five years. The scheme will provide 35 kg of rice and wheat free of cost each month, amounting to a monthly economic saving of ₹1371 and ₹946, respectively, for an Antyodaya family.

The initiative aims to significantly strengthen food security and alleviate financial hardship for the nation's poor and vulnerable populations. The decision will be implemented uniformly across all states and union territories through a network of over 5 lakh Fair Price Shops under a common logo. Moreover, it aligns with the One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) initiative, making it easy for beneficiaries to lift free food grains from any fair-price shop in the country.

The move also supports technology-based reforms under Digital India, ensuring both intra and inter-state portability of entitlements for migrants. The decision reflects the long-term commitment and vision of the government to address national food and nutrition security.

The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) was initiated in April 2020 to alleviate the hardships faced by people with low incomes due to economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Date & time of posting: 30 November 2023, 21:50 IST

Posted by: Matter5 News Team

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