Global Economy

India highlights role of PM-GKAY scheme in ensuring food security during pandemic at WTO meet

India showcased at a WTO seminar its flagship Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY), which played a key role in ensuring additional food security for around 800 million people during the pandemic.

Under the PM-GKAY scheme, the government is providing 5 kg food grain per person per month free of cost to 80 crore people covered by the National Food Security Act (NFSA). This 5 kg food grain is over and above the highly subsidise monthly quota under the NFSA.

India’s food security approach and innovations that reflect the government’s concern and sensitivity towards poor and vulnerable sections of society were widely appreciated by participants in the WTO seminar from across the globe, Food and Consumer Affairs Ministry said in a release on Thursday.

The WTO high-level seminar on Food Security was held in Geneva on April 26 to facilitate dialogue on trade and food security among Geneva-based trade officials, policymakers, experts from international organisations and think tanks, among others.

S Jagannathan, Joint Secretary in the Department of Food and Public Distribution, highlighted India’s outstanding experience in successfully ensuring dignified and foolproof access to adequate food grains to the most vulnerable people in the country, especially during COVID, through a series of bold technology-based reforms and landmark innovations in the public distribution system.

He represented India in the WTO Seminar.

Jagannathan also made a detailed presentation on the Indian perspective in the panel on ‘National and Regional Experiences’ at the ‘WTO high-level seminar.

The release further said that in recent times, India’s food security response to the COVID-19 crisis is being hailed as a shining example for its unparalleled speed, scale and transparency, and rightful targeting.

Jagannathan highlighted the crucial role played by the PM-GKAY in ensuring additional food security for around 800 million beneficiaries in the country during the COVID period and how the scheme continues to cushion them against supply shocks and rising inflation during the period of recovery, with an additional food subsidy outlay of nearly USD 45 billion apart from the regular food subsidy of nearly USD 22 billion.

National experiences from different countries and world regions were shared and discussed in the seminar with a focus on the relationship between trade and the multiple dimensions of food security, including access, availability, stability and use in the light of existing and future challenges.


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