Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY)

Understand how the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana is helping India's low-income citizens.
4 min

In the past decade, the Government of India has paid special attention to the often ignored sections of the society. This includes financially backward classes, sections that have been discriminated against, and groups that have traditionally been denied equal rights. The goal has been to increase financial inclusiveness and bring more people under the umbrella of social security.

Many schemes have been launched to achieve this objective, like the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan and Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana. One such scheme launched by the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY).

What is Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY)

The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana was launched in 2016 under the aegis of the Ministry of Finance. It aims to promote welfare and extend assistance to the economically weaker sections during emergencies. It enhances the general well-being of the population and seeks to reduce vulnerabilities. The scheme’s goal is to alleviate the suffering of the people through benefits provided by the government and welfare measures. Some of them include free distribution of food grains, insurance, and direct cash transfers. It is specially meant to be a reliable source of aid during unforeseen crises and emergencies.

Objectives of PMGKY

The scheme’s major objectives are twofold:

  • Curb black money, and
  • Enhance income equality

A special measure under the scheme to achieve the first objective was providing a one-off chance for people who evade taxes to disclose their income without the risk of facing prosecution or even penalties. However, it is important to know that 50% of the untaxed amount must be paid.

Also, the PMGKY scheme was granted an extension in 2020 owing to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The poorer sections of the population were among the worst to be hit, and the objective behind the extension was in line with the core spirit of the scheme, which is to provide relief and security to the people under unforeseen circumstances.

Eligibility for PMGKY

Under the scheme, the following are eligible to enrol and reap benefits:

  • Families below the poverty line (BPL)
  • Families covered under Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY). These are identified by the state and union territory governments based on the criteria set by the central government.
  • Families that fall in the category of Priority Households (PHH)

Suggested read: Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana calculator

Benefits under PM Garib Kalyan Yojana

  • The PMGKY scheme covers over 80 crore people across the country—almost two-thirds of the country’s total population. This includes people with disabilities, pensioners, and women. Having benefits for such a wide range of the population also makes PMGKY one of the biggest welfare schemes in the world.
  • Under the scheme, 5 kg of free wheat/rice is distributed to the families who are eligible and covered.
  • The scheme also includes a monthly distribution of 1 kg of whole chana (free) to each family.
  • In addition to the food rations, the government provides free gas cylinders to BPL families for 3 months.
  • Frontline workers in the healthcare domain are recognised under the scheme. They are insured up to Rs. 50 lakh. The frontline workers under the scheme include paramedics, ASHA workers, nurses, ward boys, doctors, technicians, and specialist workers. Almost 22 lakh healthcare workers are covered under the scheme.
  • As of 2020, the scheme has invested a sum of Rs. 50,000 crore to provide employment opportunities to the poorer sections of the society.
  • PMGKY provides an opportunity for tax evaders to declare their undisclosed wealth without the worry of prosecution and penalties if they can pay 49.9% tax on the amount.
  • It is estimated that over 8 crore farmers benefit under the scheme through direct cash benefit transfers.
  • Under the plan, the income of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) workers increased by Rs. 2,000.

Since its inception, the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana has been renewed several times. Recently, the scheme was renewed again with a 5-year extension. Now, the PMGKY will stay intact until 2028.

How to register for PMGKY

To register for the scheme, you have to open a savings account under the Jan Dhan Yojana at any eligible bank. You will be required to furnish some essential documents, including documentation outlining your income, to open the account and verify your profile. Once these are submitted, they will go through a screening process to be verified. Once you pass the screening process, you will be eligible to enrol and benefit from the program.


The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) is a testament to India's commitment to social welfare and financial inclusion. Launched under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership, it provides crucial support to economically weaker sections. By offering free food grains, insurance coverage, and other benefits, PMGKY touches the lives of crores of people, including those below the poverty line and frontline healthcare workers. With its dual objectives of curbing black money and promoting income equality, PMGKY stands as one of the world's largest welfare schemes, impacting over 80 crore individuals in the country.

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Frequently asked questions

What is the cost of PMGKY?

The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) covers over 80 crore Indians, providing assistance and food security to the masses. Over a 5-year period beginning from 1st January 2024, its estimated cost is Rs. 11.80 lakh crore.

What is the full form of PMGKY?

The full form of PMGKY is Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana. It is a social welfare and benefit transfer scheme initially launched by the Government of India in 2016 under the aegis of the Ministry of Finance.

Is Pmgky discontinued?

The PM Garib Kalyan Yojana is still operational and integrated with the National Food Security Act (NFSA). With the integration, the additional components of free food grain distribution introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic are now merged with the NFSA. PMGKY has also been extended until 2028.

When was PMGKAY launched in India?

The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), which provides free food grains to over 80 crore Indians, was launched at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. The scheme ended in 2022 and has since been integrated with the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

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