Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) is a covid relief package unveiled by the Finance Minister Nirmal Sitharaman on March 24th with an allocation of Rs 1.7 lakh crores.

Previously, there was a Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) launched by the government in 2016, under which the income taxpayers are given an opportunity to forgo prosecution by declaring their illegal money and paying a 50% penalty on their unaccounted income.

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalayan Yojana to fight the covid

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalayan Yojana aims to give relieve to different sections of the society – migrant workers, farmers, urban and rural poor and women. Similarly, it extends various incentives to health workers. Hence several schemes for specific target groups are there under the PMGKY.

The scheme was initially designed for three months, but later in June, it was extended by five more months to November 2020.

Though there are several programmes for the covid affected weaker sections under PMGKY, three schemes are noteworthy:

  1. Provision of food grains to the rural and urban poor through the PDS.
  2. Cash transfer of Rs 500 each to women who have Jan Dhan Accounts.
  3. Medical insurance to health workers including doctors, nurses, Asha workers paramedics and sanitation workers.

Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan: PM launched the rural employment programme under public work scheme – the for migrant workers -Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan, on 20nd June to provide livelihood to migrant workers and rural citizen.

  1. PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana

PMKAY is the worlds’ largest food security scheme launched by the government in March 2020. The scheme aims to provide food items comprising 5 kg rice/wheat per individual and 1kg gram per family in every month to the poor at free of cost.

Food grains are distributed to all the beneficiaries under the targeted public distribution system (TPDS) for Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and priority household (PHH) ration cardholders.

As per the scheme, the beneficiaries will be provided with double of their current entitlement during the period.

The scheme is expected to benefit 80 crore people in the covid period as there is several economic hardships due to the covid pandemic. This 80-crore population under the scheme is around 2.5 times the US population, 12 times the UK population and, twice the European Union’s population.

Originally, the scheme was designed from three months, but it was extended by five months to end November 2020. This will increase the cost outlay of the scheme by Rs 90000 crores from the initial estimate.

  1. Cash transfers Under PM Garib Kalyan Yojana

The PMGKY includes an important component in the form of cash transfers. Here, a total of 20.40 crores PMJDY women accountholders would be given a monthly cash transfer of Rs 500 during the running time of the scheme.

PMJDY accounts Number (mn) Source
Total PMJDY accounts (million) 382.3 PMJDY Portal, April 2020
Total rural/semi-urban PMJDY accounts (million) 226.7 PMJDY Portal, April 2020
Total female owned PMJDY accounts (million) 207.2 PMJDY Portal, April 2020


In an address to the nation, in June, the Prime Minister indicated that during the first 3 months, Rs 31,000 crore were deposited in bank accounts of 20 crore poor families.

  1. Insurance scheme for health workers fighting COVID-19

The feature of the insurance is scheme is that any health professional, while treating Covid-19 patients, if they meet with some accident amounting to death, would be compensated with an amount of Rs 50 lakh under the scheme. Accident here means accidental death due to covid and accident while engaging with covid related duty.

Covered individuals under the scheme: Public healthcare providers including community health workers, who may have to be in direct contact and care of COVID-19 patients.

The entire amount of premium for this scheme is being borne by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

Private hospital staff and retired /volunteer /local urban bodies/ contracted /daily wage /ad-hoc/outsourced staff requisitioned by States/ Central hospitals/ autonomous hospitals of Central/ States/UTs, AIIMS and INIs/ hospital of Central Ministries can also be drafted for COVID 19 related responsibilities.

Volunteers are those who are drafted by the Government Official authorized by Central/State/ UT Government for care and may have come in direct contact of the COVID-19 patient. Safai karamcharis, ward-boys, nurses, ASHA workers, paramedics, technicians, doctors and specialists and other health workers would be covered. Approximately 22 lakh health workers would be provided insurance cover to fight the pandemic.

  1. Front loading of payments to farmers under PM KISAN

Under the PMGKY, the first instalment of Rs 2,000 due in 2020-21 to the farmers under the PM KISAN will be front-loaded and paid in April 2020 itself. This will cover nearly 8.7 crore farmers.

  1. Support to low wage earners in organised sectors:

The wage-earners below Rs 15,000 per month in businesses having less than 100 workers are at risk of losing their employment.

For this category, the government proposes to pay 24 percent of their monthly wages into their PF accounts for next three months.

  1. Gas cylinders at free of cost to poor families

The government is providing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders at free of cost to over 8 crore Prime Minister Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) beneficiaries for three months with effect from April 1, 2020.

  1. Support to MGNREGA workers

MNREGA wages would be increased by Rs 20 with effect from 1 April 2020. This will provide an additional per capital benefit of Rs 2,000 to a worker.

The step is expected to benefit approximately 13.62 crore families.

  1. Financial support for senior citizens (above 60 years), widows and Divyang:

There are around 3 crore aged widows and people in Divyang (handicapped) category who are vulnerable due to economic disruption caused by COVID-19.

Government will provide these sections, a transfer of Rs 1,000 to tide over difficulties during next three months.

  1. Support to Self-help groups

For the SHGs, the limit of collateral free lending would be increased from Rs 10 to Rs 20 lakhs.

  1. Other support measures

An amendment will be made to EPF Regulations to include Pandemic as the reason to allow non-refundable advance of 75 percent of the amount or three months of the wages, whichever is lower, for the account holders.

Welfare Fund for Building and Other Constructions Workers: State Governments will be given directions to utilise this fund to provide assistance and support to the workers during the covid disruptions.


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