The Centre on Wednesday extended the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) by three months. The decision was taken during a cabinet meeting today. In the meeting, the decision to increase the Dearness Allowance (DA) for Central government employees was also taken. Cabinet gave its nod to DA hike of central government employees by 4 per cent.

The extension to PMGKAY — under which free food grains are provided to the poor — came two days ahead of its expiry which was scheduled on September 30.

The scheme was earlier extended in March this year by six months till September 30. The decision to extend the scheme then was taken during a cabinet meeting which was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana was announced in March 2020 after the first Covid-19 lockdown was implemented across the country. The scheme was originally scheduled to end on March 31, 2022.

Under PMGKAY, the government provides free five kilograms of food grains per person to more than 80 crore beneficiaries who are covered under the National Food Security Act, including those covered under the direct benefit transfer.

DA Hike For Central Government Employees By 4%

In today’s cabinet meeting, a decision was taken to increase the dearness allowance for Central government employees by four per cent. This is the second time this year that DA has been hiked for the Central government employees. Earlier in March, the Union government had hiked the dearness allowance for its employees by 3 per cent.

The DA was hiked from 31% to 34% during a cabinet meeting in March.

The dearness allowance is paid to the central government employees to offset the impact of inflation on the employees’ salaries. It is applicable to both employees and pensioners.