This can prove to be a big trump card for the ruling BJP before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Under the National Food Security Act-NFSA, now more than 80 crore people will get free food grains and will not have to pay even a single rupee for this. The central government will spend about 2 lakh crore rupees every year on this scheme. This is the amount after allowing PM Anna Yojana to be merged with NFSA. The government will give free food grains under the National Food Security Act till December 2023, the entire cost of which will be borne by the central government.
Thinking for food
Till now, subsidized food grains were given to the poor under NFSA and apart from this, during the Kovid epidemic, food grains were given free of cost to the poor for the last two and a half years under PM Anna Yojana. The government said that the additional food grains given under PM Anna Yojana are no longer needed. While they will get free food grains next year under NFSA as part of the Prime Minister’s pro-poor move. Significantly, the PM Anna Yojana was ending on December 31, 2022.
The solution to pension tension
Along with this, the government has also approved the revision of pension for Armed Forces pensioners and family pensioners under the One Rank One Pension Scheme with effect from July 1, 2019. More than 25.13 lacks retired personnel will get its benefit after the government incurs additional expenditure of Rs 8,450 crore annually. In addition, the balance of Rs 23,638 crore from July 2019 to June 2022 will be paid in four half-yearly installments. While the government said that all family pensioners including special/liberalized family pension and gallantry award winners would be paid arrears in one installment.
The government said that the pension of the previous pensioners will be re-fixed based on the average of the minimum and maximum pension of the defense forces of 2018 based on the same rank with the same service. Retired armed forces personnel till June 30, 2019, will come under this amendment. More than 25.13 lacks (including more than 4.52 lakh new beneficiaries) pensioners and family pensioners of the armed forces will be benefited from this. Pension will be protected for those who get above average pension. This benefit will also be extended to family pensioners including war widows and disabled pensioners. The Modi government implemented OROP in 2015 from July 1, 2014, and promised that pensions would be re-fixed every five years. About Rs, 57,000 crores have been spent on this scheme so far.