Somatirtha Purohit

The Central government will provide free food grains to about 81.35 crore beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) for a period of five years with effect from January 1, 2024.

The Union Cabinet made the decision on Wednesday with an aim to ensure food and nutrition security for 81.35 crore people for five years.

The Centre will spend Rs 11.80 lakh crore (approx.) in the next 5 years on food subsidy under PMGKAY for the same. Consequently, the government will allocate approximately Rs 11.80 lakh crore during this period as food subsidy under PMGKAY to provide free food grains to the targeted population.

The provision of free food grains under PMGKAY for five years starting from January 1, 2024, signifies Prime Minister Narendra Modi's long-term commitment and vision for addressing national food and nutrition security, read an official release. 

This approach aims to alleviate financial hardships among affected segments of society sustainably, ensuring a long-term pricing strategy with zero cost to beneficiaries, crucial for effective penetration of the Public Distribution System, it read.

The Government of India is dedicated to ensuring a dignified life for its citizens by granting them access to food and nutritional security through an ample supply of quality food grains. The PMGKAY is expected to fulfill the commitment to 81.35 crore individuals covered under the scheme, it added.