Cabinet extends PMGKY for 5 yrs, clears drone scheme for women SHGs

New Delhi: Extending benefits to the poor and women, the Union cabinet has approved extension of free food grain scheme Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) for another five years while also giving nod to a scheme for providing drones to the women’s Self-Help Groups (SHGs).

“During Covid pandemic, Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana was brought by the government.

Yesterday, it was decided that this scheme will be extended beyond January 1, 2024, for the next five years. Members of all the identified families (for the scheme) in the country will get 5 kilos of grains every month. As many as 81 crore Indians will benefit from this,” Union Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Minister Anurag Thakur said on Wednesday while briefing the media on Cabinet decisions.

“Similarly, Antyoday families will continue to get free 35 kilo free food grains every month,” he further said.

The Minister said that the central government will spend a total of Rs 11.80 lakh crore on free food grains over the next five years.

The Cabinet also approved a central sector scheme for providing drones to the women’s Self Help Groups (SHGs). Under the scheme, drones would be provided to 15,000 selected women’s SHGs during 2023-24 to 2025-2026 for providing rental services to farmers for agricultural uses.

The I&B Minister said that there are about 10 crore sisters in the country who are members of 89 lakh self-help groups (SHGs).

The Cabinet also gave its nod to the terms of reference (ToR) for 16th Finance Commission. The ToR comprises sharing of central taxes between Centre and states and among states.

“The Chairman and members of the Commission will be decided in due course of time,” the Minister said.

He also said that the 16th Finance Commission will give its report by October 2025 on which the Centre will take a call.

UNI

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