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The union government has no proposal as of now to extend the free ration scheme, that was launched as a social net for the poor during coronavirus pandemic, beyond 30 November, Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pande said on Friday.

The Centre has no proposal to extend distribution of free ration via the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKAY) beyond November 30

This is in view of recovery in the economy and good disposal of food grains in the open market under the OMSS policy, Sudhanshu Pandey.

The Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMKGAY) was announced in March last year to ameliorate distress caused by Covid-19. Initially, the scheme launched for the April-June 2020 period but later was further extended till November 30, 2021.

"Since the economy is also reviving and our OMSS (open market sale scheme) disposal of food grains has also been exceptionally good this year. So, there is no proposal to extend PMGKAY," Pandey told reporters during a press briefing.

Under the PMGKAY, the government has repeatedly touted that more than 80 crore people are being provided 5 kg free wheat/rice per month along with 1 kg free whole Chana to each family per month.

The free ration to 80 crore ration card holders are identified under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). The free ration is given over and above the subsidised grains distributed to them via ration shops.

The government has been giving rice and wheat to bulk consumers under the OMSS policy to improve availability in the domestic market and check prices.

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