81 crore people to get free foodgrains for one year under NFSA

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81 crore people to get free foodgrains for one year under NFSA

The government on 23 December decided to provide free foodgrains to 81.35 crore people for one year under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) at an estimated cost of Rs 2 lakh crore. It will be implemented from 1 January 2023.

Important facts

  • As per the cabinet decision, beneficiaries under NFSA will get free food grains for one year till December 2023.
  • The decision comes a few days before the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) expires on December 31, 2022.
  • The beneficiaries will not have to pay a single rupee to get foodgrains.


  • It is a food security welfare scheme announced by the Central Government in March 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • It is a part of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) to help the poor in the fight against COVID-19.
  • The program is run by the Department of Food and Public Distribution under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
  • Under the programme more than 80 crore beneficiaries are provided 5 kg free wheat/rice per person per month.
  • It is the largest food security program in the world.

Objective of the scheme

  • To provide food security to all priority households (ration card holders and those identified by the Antyodaya Anna Yojana scheme), to provide food grains to India's poorest citizens through the Public Distribution System.

National Food Security (NFS) Act, 2013

  • It aims to provide subsidized food grains to approximately two-thirds of India’s 1.2 billion people.
  • This includes Re 3 per kg of rice, Re 2 per kg of wheat and Re 1 per kg of coarse grains under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS).
  • It converts the existing food security programs of the Government of India into a legal mandate.
  • The existing food security programs include the mid-day meal scheme, the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme and the Public Distribution System (PDS).

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