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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 25 November, 2021

  • 12 Min Read

PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY): Critical Analysis

PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY): Critical Analysis

  • Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY) is a scheme as part of Atmanirbhar Bharat to supply free food grains to migrants and the poor.
  • Under this special scheme (PMGKAY), around 80 Crore NFSA beneficiaries covered under both categories of NFSA, namely Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Householders (PHH), will be provided with an additional quota of free-of-cost foodgrains (Rice/Wheat) at a scale of 5 Kg per person per month, over and above their regular monthly entitlements under NFSA.
  • Government of India will bear all expenditure of over ?26,000 Crore on account of food subsidy and Central assistance to states/UTs on account of intrastate transportation etc.
  • During the period May - November 2021, more than 81.35 crore people will be provided 5 kg free wheat/rice per person/month along with 1 kg free whole chana to each family per month. Wheat has been allocated to 6 States/UTs, - Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Chandigarh, Delhi and Gujarat and rice has been provided to the remaining States/UTs. This is over and above the regular monthly entitlements under National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA).

Eligibility

  • Families belonging to the Below Poverty Line - Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Households (PHH) categories will be eligible for the scheme.
  • PHH are to be identified by State Governments/Union Territory Administrations as per criteria evolved by them. A families are to be identified by States/UTs as per the criteria prescribed by the Central Government:
  • Households headed by widows or terminally ill persons or disabled persons or persons aged 60 years or more with no assured means of subsistence or societal support.
  • Widows or terminally ill persons or disabled persons or persons aged 60 years or more or single women or single men with no family or societal support or assured means of subsistence.
  • All primitive tribal households.
  • Landless agriculture labourers, marginal farmers, rural artisans/craftsmen such as potters, tanners, weavers, blacksmiths, carpenters, slum dwellers, and persons earning their livelihood on daily basis in the informal sector like porters, coolies, rickshaw pullers, hand cart pullers, fruit and flower sellers, snake charmers, rag pickers, cobblers, destitute and other similar categories in both rural and urban areas.
  • All eligible Below Poverty Line families of HIV-positive persons.

30% of PMGKAY recipients yet to get grains for May

  • Almost a third of all ration card holders are yet to get their free foodgrains allocation for May under the Centre’s COVID-19 relief scheme, according to the Food Ministry.
  • Out of the 79.25 crore beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), only 55 crores have so far received their 5 kg per person quota of free wheat or rice under the Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), which was announced to mitigate the economic distress caused by the pandemic. Thus, more than 30% have still not gotten their benefit.
  • However, almost 90% of beneficiaries have received their regular subsidised grain for the month, raising questions over why the free grain has reached fewer beneficiaries.
  • An analysis of NFSA data shows that the only major States which have significant coverage gaps are Himachal Pradesh (23%), Madhya Pradesh (14%) and Gujarat (9%). Most other large States have less than a 5% gap, which can be used to issue new ration cards.
  • In a May 24 order, the Supreme Court had directed that migrant workers and poor people without ration cards should be provided with dry ration under the Atma Nirbhar scheme — which was implemented last year — or any other scheme found suitable by the States and Centre.

National Food Security Act, 2013

  • In PUCL vs Union of India, SC said Right to food is essential to Right to Life (Art 21). Hence NFSA has a rights based approach. Objective is to provide for food and nutritional security in the human life cycle approach.
  • All the above schemes PDS, RPDS, and TPDS are merged except Antyodaya Anna Yojana which will continue to give 35 kg to the poorest of the poor.
  • It covers 67% population (75% Rural and 50% Urban). Beneficiaries will be taken from SECC.
  • People will get 5 kgs of foodgrains per person per month upto 5 family members at subsidised prices of Rs. 3/2/1 per Kg for rice/wheat/coarse grains. It uses TPDS mechanism.
  • Special nutritional support to women and children.
    1. It includes meal to Pregnant women and lactating mothers during pregnancy and 6 months after child birth. They are entitled to a nutritious "take home ration" of 600 Calories and a maternity benefit of >= Rs 6,000 for 6 months. Hence, PMMVY is merged. 5000 + 1000 rs under Janani Suraksha Yojana.
    2. Children upto 14 years will get nutritious meals.
  • If there is no supply in 15 days, then beneficiaries will get Food Security Allowance.
  • Grievance redressal mechanism at District and State levels. Transparency and Accountability to be ensured.
  • Food fortification = Rice with Protein; Wheat with Zinc and Coarse Cereals with Iron.
  • Utilisation of Dryland area agriculture which is 52% land.
  • Development of Wasteland to generate 250 million tonnes additional production.
  • In Chandigarh, Puducherry and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, act is impemented in cash transfer mode and they will have the choice to buy foodgrains from open market.
  • The eldest woman in a household, >= 18 years, shall be the head of the household for the purpose of issuance of a ration card.

Source: PIB


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