The Department of Food and Public Distribution on Friday said that there is no proposal to extend the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) scheme beyond November 30, in view of the revival in the economy.

The scheme was launched in March last year by the Central government to distribute free ration to ameliorate the hardships faced by the poor and needy due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was reintroduced for two months till June this year in order to minimise the economic hardships of the poor during the second pandemic wave. In June, the Cabinet had given its nod for extension of the scheme for five more months till November-end

Speaking at a press briefing, Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey said, "Since the economy is reviving and our OMSS (open market sale scheme) disposal has also been exceptionally good this year..So, there is no proposal to extend PMGKAY.”

Under the PMGKAY, the government supplies free ration to 80 crore ration cardholders identified under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). The free ration is given over and above the subsidised grains distributed to them via ration shops.

The government has been giving rice and wheat to bulk consumers under the OMSS policy to improve availability in the domestic market and check prices