In his recent address to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced to extend the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana till November. Under this scheme, 80 crore people will get 5 kg of wheat or rice free of cost. While the scheme was introduced back in 2016, it has been at its most effective during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Here’s all that you need to know about the government initiative:
The PM Jan Kalyan Yojana was introduced in 2016 in a bid to offer livelihood assistance to even the poorest of poor. Since its unveiling Rs 50,000 crore has been spent on providing employment opportunities to the poor under the scheme.
The scheme proved to be highly beneficial to the lower-income groups upon the introduction of Ann Yojana as a part of the existing scheme during the Covid-19 pandemic. The government announced to provide five kilograms of free wheat/rice to more than 80 crore people – to each member of a family – along with 1 kg free whole chana per family, per month.
Under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, a package of rupees two lakh crore was given to the poor. In the last 3 months, Rs. 31 thousand crores were deposited directly into Jan Dhan accounts of 20 crore poor families. 18 thousand crores have been deposited in the bank accounts of more than 9 crore farmers.
In a recent address to the country, the Prime Minister announced to extend the scheme till Diwali. He said that farmers have filled the granary of the country, we will fulfill the resolve of self-reliant India. He also said that now a ration-card is being arranged for the entire country, that is, one nation-one ration card. The biggest benefit of this will be to those unfortunate people who leave their native villages and go elsewhere for employment or other needs.
In his address, the Prime Minister also said that if the government is able to provide free food grains to the poor and needy today, the credit goes mainly to the two classes. First, the hardworking farmers of our country, our food providers. Second, the honest taxpayer of our country.
The PM also pointed out that we have more work during and after the rainy season, mainly in the agriculture sector. There is a slight slowness in other sectors. Gradually, the festival season also commences from July, which would incur a need of more expenses in every household.
The extension of the Jan Kalyan Yojana is expected to cost the government an additional Rs 90,000 crore. If the amount spent towards the scheme in the previous three months is added together, a total of almost Rs 1.5 lakh crore would be spent towards the scheme till November.
The scheme aims to cover more than 80 crore people, i.e. two-third of the population. As a part of this scheme, sanitation workers, ward-boys, nurses, ASHA workers, paramedics, technicians, doctors and specialists, and other health workers would be provided with a cover of Rs 50 lakh.
As an added bonus, each eligible beneficiary would be provided with double of their current entitlement under the scheme. This addition would be free of cost.