NEW DELHI: In a major decision, the Union Cabinet on Friday decided to distribute free ration under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) for a period of one year till December 2023.
The move will entail a burden of Rs 2 lakh crore which would be completely borne by the government, Commerce and Food Minister Piyush Goyal told media persons.
More than 81.35 crore NFSA beneficiaries will benefit from the move.
Earlier, rice and wheat were provided at subsidized rates to the beneficiaries under NFSA.
Food grains, which were being provided under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) since April 2020, will also be subsumed under NFSA quota, Goyal informed.
Thus PMGKAY won't be extended beyond December 2022.
Prior to Friday's decision, under NFSA, 5 kg of food grains per person per month at Rs 2-3 per kg were being provided.
Families covered under Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) get 35 kg of food grains per month.
Rice is given to the poor under NFSA at Rs 3 per kg and wheat at Rs 2 per kg under NFSA. Now all this would be given free of cost to the beneficiaries.