India extends ‘free food for poor’ programme until November

India extends ‘free food for poor’ programme until November
The Indian government has decided to extend the scheme to provide free food grains to people till the festival of Diwali (November 4).

The scheme was launched last year, when a lockdown had to be imposed due to the pandemic. “The government had made free food available to over 800 million people over a period of 8 months,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his address today as he announced the extension.
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The programme, called Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), offered, free of cost, an additional five kilogram of rice or wheat and one kilogram of pulses, every month, to people of the lower income group via the public distribution system.

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While extending the programme until June 2021, the government had estimated an average cost of about ₹12,600 crore a month. The state government had reportedly lifted their full quantity of grains they were eligible for, in the month of May. At this rate, the government may, approximately, end up spending another ₹90,000 crore, on food subsidy this financial year, as the scheme gets extended until November.

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