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NEW DELHI: The Union cabinet on Wednesday renamed the flagship school meal programme Mid-Day Meal as PM Poshan.

PM Poshan, for which the Cabinet approved required budget, will now be extended to pre schoolers as well. 

The government emphasised the need for direct benefit transfer to plug leakages in various state-sponsored welfare schemes.

"The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister has approved the continuation of ‘National Scheme for PM POSHAN in Schools’ for the five year period 2021-22 to 2025-26 with the financial outlay of 54061.73 crores from the Central Government and 31,733.17 crore from State Governments & UT administrations. Central Government will also bear additional cost of about 45,000 crore on foodgrains. Therefore, the total scheme budget will amount to 1,30,794.90 crore," the Union government said after the cabinet meeting.

"To improve nutritional status, encourage education and learning, increase enrolments in schools and promote overall growth of children, PM Shri @narendramodi ji has approved the PM Poshan Shakti Nirman scheme for the next 5 years with a collective outlay of 1,31,000 crore," education minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.

Like the Mid Day Meal scheme, PM Poshan has the same target group and will cover about 118 million children studying in 1.12 million government schools.

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