Centre extends PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, will provide free ration till March 2022.

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared the path for the repealing of the three farm laws in the upcoming winter session of the Parliament. The Farm Laws Repeal Bill 2021 was presented before the Union Cabinet on Wednesday at the Cabinet Meeting that was held in the national capital and after a resolution was moved by the Union Agricultural Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, the Cabinet adopted and approved the bill for repealing the three farm laws.

Also on Wednesday, the government decided to extend the “PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana” to provide free ration till March 2022.

The three farm laws—Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020—that were passed by Parliament last year, will now be repealed by Parliament in the upcoming winter session that is to begin from 29 November. The new Farm Laws Repeal Bill 2021 has already been listed by the government to be discussed and debated in both Houses of Parliament and then be repealed through the legal legislative process.

These three laws had become a bone of contention between a group of farmers from Punjab and Haryana and the Union government leading to farmers’ groups blocking almost all the entry points to Delhi for almost a year.

It was only last week that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, through a televised broadcast to the nation, announced that the three farm laws would be withdrawn by the Union government. In the televised broadcast on 19 November, the Prime Minister had said, “I apologise to the people of the country with true and pure heart that we were unable to convince some farmers.” The Prime Minister had also announced that the government will constitute a committee to work on a new framework for Minimum Support Price (MSP). It was following this decision by the Prime Minister that it was clear that these three farm laws would be withdrawn in the upcoming Parliament session.

Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur on Wednesday said that the Union Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi completed the formalities to repeal the three farm laws. Addressing the Cabinet briefing, Thakur said, “Today, the Union Cabinet led by PM completed formalities to repeal the three Farm Laws. During the upcoming session of the Parliament, it will be our priority to take back these three laws.”

Also, Government of India has decided to extend the “PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana” to provide free ration till March 2022, Thakur said. Addressing the media here, Thakur said, “It has been decided to extend the ‘PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana’ to provide free ration till March 2022.” Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) is a food security welfare scheme that was envisaged by the Prime Minister to provide assistance and help mitigate the economic impact of Covid-19. Under PMGKAY, 5 kg of additional food grain, per person, is given to all beneficiaries covered under National Food Security Act.

In a related development, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the stipendiary support of Rs 3,054 crore, for the next five years, to apprentices who undergo apprenticeship training under the National Apprenticeship Training Scheme (NATS).

Thakur said that the NATS has been extended for the time period of 2021-22 to 2025-26 (up to March 31, 2026). “Approximately 9 lakh apprentices will be trained by industry and commercial organisations. The apprentices who have completed graduate and diploma programmes in Engineering, Humanities, Science and Commerce will be given a stipend of Rs 9,000 and Rs 8,000 per month respectively,” said the press note issued by the Ministry of Education.

In keeping with the Government emphasis on “SabkaSaath, SabkaVikas, SabkaVishwas, SabkaPrayaas”, the scope of NATS has further been expanded to include students from humanities, science and commerce besides students from the engineering stream, noted the government. “This scheme aims to raise the standards of skill level by strengthening the skill ecosystem and as a result, will provide employment to approximately seven lakh youths in the next five years,” the release said. The NATS will also provide apprenticeships in the emerging areas under “Production Linked Incentive” (PLI) such as mobile manufacturing, medical devices manufacturing, pharma sector, Automobile sector etc, it added.