The Central government on Wednesday announced an extension of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY) for another three months until December 2022. The decision was taken in the meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The scheme was coming to an end on September 30, after it had been extended in March 2022 for a period of six months more.In a press note issued by the Cabinet said, “Recognising that people have gone through a difficult period of pandemic, Govt has decided to extend PMGKAY for a period of three months so that poor and vulnerable sections of society are supported for the forthcoming major festivals like Navratri, Dussehra, Milad-un-nabi, Deepawali, Chhath pooja, Gurunanak dev Jayanti, Christmas, etc. which they can celebrate with great gaiety and community for festivities.” “With a view to ensuring this, Govt. has approved this extension of PMGKAY for three months, so that they continue to enjoy the benefits of easy availability of foodgrains without any financial distress,” it added.Under this scheme, 5 kg ration per person is given to beneficiaries. This is in addition to the ration given under the public distribution system.Financial implication for the Central government has been about Rs. 3.45 Lakh Crore upto Phase-VI of PMGKAY. With the additional expenditure of about Rs. 44,762 Crore for Phase-VII of this scheme, the overall expenditure of PMGKAY will be about Rs. 3.91 lakh crore for all the phases.The total outgo in terms of food grains for PMGKAY Phase VII is likely to be about 122 LMT. The aggregate allocation of food grain for phases I- VII is about 1121 LMT.So far, PMGKAY has been in operation for 25 months as under:1. Phase I and II ( 8 months) : April’20 to Nov.’202. Phase-III to V (11 months) : May’21 to March’223. Phase-VI ( 6 months) : April’22 to Sept.’22PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY), started during difficult time of COVID-19 crisis, has provided food security to the poor, needy and the vulnerable households/beneficiaries so that they do not suffer on account of non-availability of adequate foodgrains. Effectively it has doubled the quantity of monthly foodgrains entitlements being normally delivered to beneficiaries.Going by the experience of earlier phases, the performance of PMGKAY-VII is expected to be on the same high level as achieved before.