GG News Bureau
New Delhi, 16th Nov. The Central Government is providing free food grains to Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) households and Priority Households (PHH) beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) for one year starting from January 1, 2023.
This initiative aims to alleviate the financial burden on poor beneficiaries and ensure the effective implementation of the National Food Security Act (2013) across the country.
The decision to provide free food grains is intended to strengthen the provisions of the National Food Security Act (2013) in terms of accessibility, affordability, and availability of entitled food grains for the poor.
The goal is to ensure a uniform implementation of the Act, promoting the idea of “ONE NATION- ONE PRICE -ONE RATION.”
The Central Government fully covers the food subsidy for procuring, allocating, transporting, and delivering the food grains to designated depots in the States.
This is done through two food subsidy schemes: Food Subsidy to FCI and Food Subsidy to Decentralized Procurement (DCP) States. These schemes have been merged into the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) to enhance the implementation of the National Food Security Act (2013) and strengthen the food security network in the country.
Free food grains are distributed through the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) starting from January 1, 2023.
The additional cost of providing free food grains to the NFSA beneficiaries is covered by the Government of India.
The National Food Security Act (2013) aims to cover up to 75% of the rural population and up to 50% of the urban population, which amounts to 81.35 crore persons based on the 2011 Census.
The Act’s coverage is designed to ensure that all vulnerable and needy sections of society benefit from it.
Currently, out of the intended coverage of 81.35 crore, the States/UTs have identified 80.48 crore beneficiaries for the distribution of free food grains under the PMGKAY.