While presenting the Union Budget 2023-24 in Lok Sabha, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday said the Indian economy is on a "right track and heading towards a bright future".
"Our focus on reforms and sound policies resulting in Jan Bhagidari helped us in trying times, our rising global profile is due to several accomplishments," she said.
Sitharaman further said that the entire expenditure of about Rs 2 lakh crore under the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana is being borne by the Central government, for supplying free foodgrains for a year to all Antyodaya and priority households.
Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY)
The Centre's new free foodgrain scheme was started from January 1, 2023, benefitting over 80 crore poor people.
The name of the new scheme is similar to that of the free foodgrain scheme implemented as part of the Centre’s Covid-19 package announced in 2020.
In the earlier scheme, NFSA beneficiaries were permitted to get 5 kg foodgrain free of cost per person in a month over and above their monthly entitlements.
However, they were required to pay the subsidised rate of foodgrains (Rs 3 per kg rice, Rs 2 per kg wheat and Rs 1 per kg coarse grains) to purchase the quantity they were entitled to, i.e 35 kg per Antyoday Anna Yojana (AAY) Household and 5 kg per person to a Priority Household (PHH) in a month.
In the new scheme, the government has done away with the subsided prices and is providing foodgrains free of cost for a year.
However, they will not receive the additional quantity of grains which they received during the COVID pandemic.
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