The union government has decided to make ration available for free, and not just on subsidised rates, to those covered under the National Food Security Act at least till December next year.
The decision, essentially, is to subsume under the Act the current free-ration scheme — Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana — started in 2020 after Covid affected livelihoods; it covers about 80 crore people.
After the Cabinet meet under PM Narendra Modi, Minister Piyush Goyal announced the decision, saying that the Yojana had been in effect for 28 months now. Its latest extension was to expire this month.
The move will cost the government Rs 2 lakh crore for a year.
Under the National Food Security Act, at present, rice is available at Rs 3 a kg, wheat at Rs 2, apart from other rations.