At present, wheat, rice and pulses are provided free of cost under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana. The scheme was launched after the announcement of the coronavirus lockdown.The government had initially announced these measures to run to June, and then extended them to the end of November.
The Centre may extend various social benefits to poor households under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) to the end of the current fiscal year in March 2021, in a continued extension of the safety net to the vulnerable from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.
The extension is likely to apply to both cash and in-kind benefits such as foodgrains.
“The fresh measures will be a mix of demand stimulus and social safety measures," a senior government official told the paper on condition of anonymity.
Under the scheme, the government is providing 81 crore individuals 5 kg of rice or wheat and 1 kg of chana every month.
The fresh stimulus may also include cash transfers to 20 crore Jan Dhan accounts and 3 crore poor senior citizens, poor widows, and other groups that were part of the PMGKY, the report said.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had on October 19 said the government was exploring a further round of stimulus as the country sinks into negative growth, due to the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic.