PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana: The Narendra Modi government today approved the continuation of the free foodgrain programme known as the “PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana,” which was launched in April 2020 to assist the needy and impoverished in overcoming the difficulties they face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic disruptions. This approval comes months before the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections.
Extending the Public Distribution Programme
The union cabinet met today, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and decided to extend the public distribution programme, which provides free grain distribution by the federal government to all eligible individuals for a period of five years. An initiative called the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana was started when the Covid epidemic first started. Ration card holders could receive an additional five kilogrammes of grains (either wheat or rice, depending on their preference) under this scheme.
Expansion of Food Distribution
The programme of increased food distribution included the provision of chana as well. Prime Minister Modi himself declared that the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana would be extended by the centre during his election rallies earlier this month. First unveiled in 2020–21, the PMGKAY programme was only publicised for three months (April–June 2020). It was, however, extended in seven consecutive phases until December 2022.
80 Crore Beneficiaries
There are 80 crore beneficiaries of the scheme. The decision to extend the free ration scheme was announced by the Prime Minister on November 4, Chhattisgarh, during an election rally in Durg. The Central Sector Scheme for supplying Drones to Women Self Help Groups was approved by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday. The program’s goal is to give drones to 15,000 carefully chosen Women SHGs between 2023–2024 and 2025–2026 so they can rent them out to farmers for use in agriculture.
Central Sector Scheme for Drones
“The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has approved Central Sector Scheme for providing Drones to the Women Self Help Groups (SHGs), with an outlay of Rs. 1261 Crore for the period from 2024-25 to 2025-26,” said a cabinet note. According to a Cabinet release, 15,000 SHGs are expected to receive sustainable business and livelihood support from the approved initiatives under the scheme, and they will have the opportunity to generate additional revenue of at least Rs One lakh annually.
Enhancing Agriculture with Drones
It further stated that the programme will assist in integrating cutting-edge technology into agriculture to boost crop yield, improve efficiency, and lower operating costs for the benefit of farmers. The women SHGs will be able to purchase drones under the scheme with Central Financial Assistance, which will cover 80% of the cost of the drone and any accessories or ancillary charges, up to a maximum of Rs 8 Lakh.