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800 million likely to continue getting free ration

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New Delhi, Aug 22: The government is likely to continue to provide free dry ration to 800 million of India's poor for another 3 to 6 months. The deadline of this scheme ends on September 30 and a decision to continue with it is likely to be taken due to high inflation.

800 million likely to continue getting free ration

This scheme was launched in April 2020 following the nation wide lockdown owing to COVID-19. It has been extended six times since and is due to expire next month. The government is considering to extend this life-support scheme for the poor as the impact of the pandemic and Ukraine war are not over yet, a Hindustan Times report said citing an official.

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The report further added that there is adequate stock of food grains for the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, which is the world's largest food security programme. One of the officials told HT that the government has recently reviewed the stock position which is said to be more than adequate to support the programme beyond the second quarter of this financial year.

The beneficiaries under this scheme get 5kg free ration per person per month in addition to their normal quota of food grains under the National Food Security Act. Under the National Food Security Act, highly subsidised food grains are provided to around 75 per cent rural and 50 per cent urban population in the country.

The scheme is likely to be extended by another couple of quarters till the inflation subsides. A final decision would however be taken soon. The decision on whether to extend the scheme or not is decided by the Union Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister.

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