Amid concerns raised by the Finance Ministry over continuation of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) till December 2022 owing to inadequate food grains and extra burden on the exchequer, Government on Friday claimed that it has sufficient stock to meet additional requirements.
“Food Corporation of India (FCI) has sufficient stock of foodgrains to meet the requirement of National Food Security Act (NFSA) and other schemes and additional requirement of PMGKAY,” Food and Public Distribution Ministry said in a statement.
It added that as on date, FCI has approximately 232 LMT of wheat and 209 LMT rice in the Central pool.
“Even after meeting requirement of stock under NFSA, other welfare schemes and PMGKAY phase VII, as on April 1, 2023, FCI will be having stock comfortably more than the buffer norms,” it further said.
It is estimated that as on April 2, 2023, approximately 113 LMT wheat and 236 LMT rice will be available in the central pool after meeting all the requirements, against the buffer norms of 75 LMT of wheat and 136 LMT of rice, official sources said.
Earlier this week, Government had announced that it will extend PMGKAY by three more months from October 1 till December 31, 2022, keeping in mind the forthcoming Gujarat assembly elections, which are due on December 2022.
Finance Ministry had cautioned the Food Department that extending the scheme would entail an additional burden of Rs 44,762 crore on the exchequer.
Also due to rising subsidy burden and high fuel prices as well as supply disruptions due to Ukraine conflict, the scheme should not be extended at all, Finance Ministry had advised.
It had further said that even if the scheme is extended, the quantity offered under it should be curtailed.
Government however will continue to offer 5 kg of food grains per person under PMGKAY, which is in addition to ration supplied to the poor under NFSA provisions.