In news– With a record low wheat procurement expected this Rabi season, the Centre recently has reduced the wheat allocation to some states and UTs under the PMGKAY till September.
- As per the revised allocation, three states — Bihar, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh, will not receive any wheat for free distribution under the PMGKAY.
- However, the reduced wheat quota will be replenished with rice to keep the overall figure intact.
- Besides, the wheat quota of eight other states — Delhi, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and West Bengal has been reduced.
- There is no change in the wheat allocation for the remaining 25 states and UTs.
About the scheme-
- It is a food security welfare scheme announced by the Government of India on March 26, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic in India.
- It is a scheme as part of Atmanirbhar Bharat to supply free food grains to migrants and the poor.
- The program is operated by the Department of Food and Public Distribution under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
- Phase-I and Phase-II of this scheme was operational from April to June, 2020 and July to November, 2020 respectively.
- Phase-III of the scheme was operational from May to June, 2021.
- Phase-IV of the scheme during July-November, 2021 and Phase V from December 2021 till March, 2022 .
- The PMGKAY scheme for Phase VI from April-September, 2022 would entail an estimated additional food subsidy of Rs. Rs. 80,000 Crore.
- As part of the scheme, more than 81.35 crore people will be provided 5 kg free wheat/rice per person / month along with 1 kg free whole chana to each family per month.
- Wheat has been allocated to 6 States/UTs, – Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Chandigarh, Delhi and Gujarat and rice has been provided to the remaining States/UTs.
- This is over and above the regular monthly entitlements under National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA).
Who is eligible under the scheme?
- Families belonging to the Below Poverty Line – Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Households (PHH) categories will be eligible for the scheme.
- PHH are to be identified by State Governments/Union Territory Administrations as per criteria evolved by them. AAY families are to be identified by States/UTs as per the criteria prescribed by the Central Government:
- Households headed by widows or terminally ill persons or disabled persons or persons aged 60 years or more with no assured means of subsistence or societal support.
- Widows or terminally ill persons or disabled persons or persons aged 60 years or more or single women or single men with no family or societal support or assured means of subsistence.
- All primitive tribal households.
- Landless agricultural laborers, marginal farmers, rural artisans/craftsmen such as potters, tanners, weavers, blacksmiths, carpenters, slum dwellers, and persons earning their livelihood on daily basis in the informal sector like porters, coolies, rickshaw pullers, hand cart pullers, fruit and flower sellers, snake charmers, rag pickers, cobblers, destitutes and other similar categories in both rural and urban areas.
- All eligible Below Poverty Line families of HIV positive persons.