NEW DELHI: In a New Year gift for the country’s poor, the Union Cabinet on Friday decided that more than 80 crore people will now get free foodgrains under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
Briefing reporters after a meeting of union cabinet here, Food and Consumers Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal said the beneficiaries will not be required to pay a single rupee to get the foodgrains till December 2023.
He said the central government will spend around Rs 2 lakh crore per year on this scheme.
The cabinet meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The government had said last week that India has sufficient food grain stocks under the central pool to meet the requirement under the National Food Security Act and its other welfare schemes as well as for additional allocation of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY).
In a statement, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said that about 159 LMT of wheat will be available on January 1 2023, which is well above the buffer norm requirement of 138 LMT. Around 182 LMT of wheat is available in the central pool as on December 12.
It said that the government is well aware of the price scenario of wheat and is constantly monitoring it regularly on a weekly basis along with other commodities and taking corrective measures, as and when required. (ANI)