Notwithstanding totally different voices from involved Ministries and with the sixth section coming to an finish on September 30, the destiny of free meals programme will probably be determined at the “highest political level” this week. The ‘Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY)’ has been prolonged 5 instances since 2020 when it was began.
In June, there have been reviews about the Department of Expenditure (DoE) advising the authorities that the scheme underneath PMGKAY ought to be stopped past September 2022. However, when requested about DoE’s recommendation, the Minister of State in the Finance Ministry, Pankaj Chaudhary, categorically instructed the Rajya Sabha — “No”.
For FY23, the Budget has offered roughly ₹2.7-lakh crore for meals subsidy which incorporates expenditure on PMGKAY (dominant share) and distribution of meals grains at subsidised charges or freed from value underneath the public distribution scheme. CAG information present the authorities spent over ₹64,000 crore throughout the April-July interval. The quantity spent throughout the year-ago interval was over ₹92,000 crore.
The different subject is requirement of foodgrains and buffer inventory. Data from Agriculture Ministry present there may be requirement of round 39.86 lakhs tonnes, which embrace 7.12 lakh tonnes of wheat and over 32.73 lakh tonnes of rice. As on September 1, inventory of rice was 244.6 lakh tonnes and that of wheat was 248.2 lakh tonnes. Norms for buffer inventory prescribe 136 lakh tonnes of rice and 75 lakh tonnes of wheat on April 1.
Although procurement in the kharif is but to start, officers in Agriculture Ministry really feel the inventory will come down with the extension of the scheme. Also, as distribution of rainfall has affected the kharif crop, which may additionally have an effect on procurements, there will probably be a resultant affect on the inventory.
September 27, 2022