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After a Cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister announced that the free ration scheme will be extended until September

Union minister Piyush Goyal said on Saturday that the Centre has extended the free foodgrain programme ‘PMGKAY’ for six months until September of this year in order to bring assistance to the underprivileged.

A decision in this respect was reached during a Cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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Food Minister Piyush Goyal announced on Twitter that the initiative has been extended till September 2022.

The continuation of the plan notwithstanding the conclusion of the COVID-19 outbreak demonstrates the Modi government’s concern for the underprivileged, he tweeted.

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The government would distribute 1,003 lakh tonnes of foodgrain under the PMGKAY initiative, which has been continuing for several years, at a cost of 3.4 lakh crore to the exchequer.

As part of its attempts to alleviate people’s problems during the coronavirus epidemic, the Centre established the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) in March 2020 to distribute free foodgrains to over 80 crore individuals covered by the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

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Under this initiative, the Centre gives 5 kg of foodgrains for free each month.

The additional free grains are supplied in addition to the standard quota granted by the NFSA at a heavily subsidised rate of 2-3 per kg.

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The initiative has been extended many times, the most recent being through March 2022.

The food ministry has allotted a total of around 759 lakh tonnes of foodgrains to the States/UTs during Phases I to V, which is equivalent to approximately 2.6 lakh crore in food subsidy.

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