Delhi govt extends free ration scheme till May next year
The Delhi government has decided to extend the distribution of free ration in the city for six months till May 31, 2022, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Monday following a Cabinet meeting.
“The Delhi cabinet has taken an important decision today. Ever since the pandemic struck Delhi, we have been giving free ration to the people of Delhi... The period of giving free ration is getting over and thus, is being extended further for six months. Now the facility of giving free ration to the people of Delhi has been extended till May 31,” said Kejriwal while addressing a digital press briefing after the Cabinet meeting.
The Delhi government was distributing free ration to beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013, and the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY).
The Centre later said there is no proposal to extend distribution of free ration through the PMGKAY beyond November 30 this year, but the Delhi government has been extending the scheme on its own expense since then. PMGKAY was launched in March last year after the Covid-19 outbreak. Initially, the scheme was launched for April-June last year, but was later extended till November 30.
It was in May 2021 that the Delhi government, in a Cabinet meeting chaired by Kejriwal, decided to give additional free ration to the needy. As per the eligibility prescribed under NFSA, five kilos of food grains were given free of cost to the needy, including migrant workers, unorganised workers, construction workers, domestic helpers and those who do not have ration cards.
This includes four kilograms of wheat and one kilogram of rice per person per month. Since then, about two million people living in Delhi benefited from this decision of the Delhi cabinet. This is in addition to the free foodgrains being provided to 7.2 million beneficiaries under NFSA.
At the same time, after a decision taken by the Delhi cabinet in October, the number of non-PDS poor beneficiaries living in Delhi has increased to about four million.
According to the Delhi government, ration is being given to all the needy people, including migrant workers, unorganised workers, workers engaged in building and construction work, and domestic helpers, who do not have ration cards.