Over 80 crore people to get free ration for one year under Food Security Act

  • At present, the beneficiaries of the NFSA Act pay 1-3 per kg. Under the Act, foodgrain is allocated at 5 kg per person per month for the priority households category

Livemint
Updated24 Dec 2022, 10:26 AM IST
Government officials described the latest Cabinet decision as a 'New year gift for the country's poor'
Government officials described the latest Cabinet decision as a ’New year gift for the country’s poor’(PTI)

The Government of India has decided to provide a free ration to 81.35 crore poor people under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) for one year. The move will cost exchequer around 2 lakh crore, as per government's officials.

At present, the beneficiaries of the NFSA Act pay 1-3 per kg. Under the Act, foodgrain is allocated at 5 kg per person per month for the priority households category and 35 kg per family per month for Antodaya Anna Yojna (AAY) families at highly subsidised prices of Re 1, 2, and 3 per kg for coarse cereals, wheat, and rice, respectively. But in 2023, the government will provide a free ration to the beneficiaries of the scheme. The decision comes days ahead of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) ending on December 31, 2022.

The PMGKAY was launched during the Covid pandemic in 2020 under which, the Centre provided 5 kg of food grain free of cost to people falling under the NFSA quota.

The Centre has now merged the PMGKAY scheme with the NFSA.

Government officials described the latest Cabinet decision as a "new year gift for the country's poor", saying that over 81.35 crore people will now get free foodgrains under NFSA.

The beneficiaries will not have to pay a single rupee to get food grains, they added.

The Centre enacted NFSA in July 2013, giving legal entitlement to 67% of the population (75% in rural areas and 50% in urban areas) to receive highly subsidised food grain.

The coverage under the Act is based on the population figures of the Census 2011. The NFSA is being implemented in all 36 states/UTs and covers about 81.35 crore persons.

Recently, Food minister Piyush Goyal informed the parliament that the government that under the PMGKAY, the government has allocated a total of almost 1,118 lakh tonnes of foodgrains to the states/UTs (total allocation from Phase I to Phase VII).

The total sanctioned outlay for food subsidy and central assistance for all phases I-VII is about 3.91 lakh crore, he said.

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First Published:24 Dec 2022, 10:26 AM IST
HomeNewsIndiaOver 80 crore people to get free ration for one year under Food Security Act

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