- Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana is basically a Food Security Welfare scheme in India. It was first announced in March 2020.
- Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana scheme functions under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, and the program is operated by the Department of Food and Public Distribution working under the same Ministry.
- Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana will cover 80 crore poor people.
- Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana was announced by the Government for the period April-November, 2020. This was to meet the food security of the people as per National Food Security Act (NFSA).
- At an estimated expenditure of Rs. 26,602 Crore, Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana was announced for the months of May and June in 2021.
- On 7th June 2021, the Prime Minister addressed the nation and announced the extension of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana for five more months till Diwali i.e.till end of November 2021.
- At an estimated financial implication of up to Rs. 67,266 Crore, around 80 Crore NFSA beneficiaries will be receiving the benefits of the scheme for 5 more months.
Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana – Benefits
- Every beneficiary will be given 5 kg of rice and wheat for free.
- This is given in addition to the quota of rice at Rs 3/kg and wheat at Rs 2/kg.
- Each individual will be given double of their entitlement for a particular time period.
- The additional entitlement will be given free of cost to all those individuals.
- 1 kg Pulses will be given free of cost by the Government to the individuals, to meet the protein requirements.
- The pulses chosen will be as per regional preferences.
Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana – Significance of Leveraging Technology
- After independence, all the Governments had the desire to make sure that food was available and accessible at cheap rates for the poor people.
- With passage of time, the budget as well as the scope of providing cheap ration to the poor people kept rising.
- Despite increasing the budget and scope, the effect it had in addressing the problems were limited.
- Malnutrition and starvation among the poor people did not decrease proportionately with the increase in food production and food storage in India.
- The main reason behind this continued problem was the lack of an effective delivery system.
- It can be observed that post 2014, the work was started afresh by leveraging the power of technology.
- Technology helped in linking Aadhar cards and ration cards.
- Crores of fake beneficiaries were weeded out with the help of technology.
- Covid-19 pandemic, one of the biggest calamities the world has seen, completely threatened the livelihood of crores of Indians, but leveraging technology, it ensured that benefits of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana reached the intended beneficiaries thereby ensuring that none of the poor people went hungry during this pandemic.
- The Government of India spent more than 2 lakh crores and made sure that free ration was available for more than 80 crore people during the pandemic.