The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved extension of the 'Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY)' till March 2022, Union Minister Anurag Thakur said in a press briefing.
The PMGKAY has been extended for four more months from December 2021 to March 2022. The Phase V of the scheme will entail an estimated food subsidy of Rs 53,344.52 crore, the minister said.
PMGKAY is a welfare scheme announced by the government in March 2020 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The scheme envisages fulfilling the food requirement of the needy by providing food grains through the public distribution system devised to reach all the priority households (ration cardholders) and Antyodaya Anna Yojana.
The scheme provides 5 kg of rice or wheat per person and 1 kg of dal to each family holding a ration card. The scale of this welfare scheme makes it the world's largest food security programme.
Meanwhile, Thakur also said that the Union Cabinet has completed the formalities to repeal the three contentious farm laws. He said it will be government's priority to repeal the three farm laws in the upcoming Winter Session of Parliament.
The government's 'Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021' aims to roll back the three farm bills passed last year -- Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Farmers' (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his address to the nation on Friday, had said that the government will withdraw the controversial farm laws. He said that the three farm laws were brought after it was demanded by farmers, economists and agricultural experts to empower small farmers. The prime minister had also urged the protesting farmers to return home.
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