Food Procurement and Distribution – PDS & NFSA, Shanta Kumar Committee, FCI restructuring, Buffer stock, etc.

Free foodgrain scheme named ‘PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana’


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NFSA, PMGKAY

Mains level: Schemes related to food security

The Centre has named its new free foodgrain scheme under the National Food Security Act, 2013, as ‘Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY)’.

PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana

  • PM had approved the new integrated food security scheme for providing free foodgrains for a year beginning January 1, 2023 to beneficiaries under the NFSA –
  1. Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY)
  2. Primary Household (PHH)

How is it different from earlier scheme?

  • The difference between the two schemes is that about 81 crore NFSA beneficiaries were entitled to get free of cost 5 kg foodgrain per person in a month over and above their monthly entitlements.
  • However, they were required to pay the subsidised rate of foodgrains (Rs 3 per kg rice, Rs 2 per kg wheat and Rs 1 per kg coarse grains) to purchase the quantity for which they were entitled–35 kg per Antyoday Anna Yojana Household and 5kg per person to a Priority Household in a month.
  • In the new scheme, the government has done away with the subsided prices and is providing foodgrains free of cost for a year.
  • Now the additional quantity, which was available during the Covid pandemic, will not be provided to these beneficiaries.
  • They will receive as much quantity of foodgrains, for which they are entitled under the NFSA.

Implementation strategy

  • For effective and uniform implementation of NFSA 2013, PMGKAY will subsume the two subsidy schemes of Department of Food & Public Distribution –
  1. Food Subsidy to FCI and
  2. Food Subsidy for decentralized procurement states dealing with procurement, allocation and delivery of free foodgrains to the states under NFSA

National Food Security (NFS) Act

  • The NFS Act, of 2013 aims to provide subsidized food grains to approximately two-thirds of India’s 1.2 billion people.
  • It was signed into law on 12 September 2013, retroactive to 5 July 2013.
  • It converts into legal entitlements for the existing food security program of the GoI.
  • It includes the Midday Meal Scheme, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme and the Public Distribution System (PDS).
  • Further, the NFSA 2013 recognizes maternity entitlements.
  • The Midday Meal Scheme and the ICDS are universal in nature whereas the PDS will reach about two-thirds of the population (75% in rural areas and 50% in urban areas).
  • Pregnant women, lactating mothers, and certain categories of children are eligible for daily free cereals.

Key provisions of NFSA

  • The NFSA provides a legal right to persons belonging to “eligible households” to receive foodgrains at a subsidized price.
  • It includes rice at Rs 3/kg, wheat at Rs 2/kg, and coarse grain at Rs 1/kg — under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS).
  • These are called central issue prices (CIPs).


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