Low food inventories are what’s holding back the PMGKAY extension.

Foodgrain inventories, which include rice, wheat, and unmilled paddy, decreased by 33.5% to 60.11 million tonnes (mt) as of September 1 from 90.41 mt a year earlier in the Central Pool run by the Food Corporation of India (FCI). The Government’s decision to continue providing free rations under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) after September 30 would be influenced by this smaller stock.

According to the most recent statistics, rice stock has decreased by 8.8% to 24.46 mt and wheat stock has decreased by 52.1% to 24.82 mt from levels observed a year ago. The stock of unmilled paddy has decreased by 8.2% to 16.16 mt (or 10.83 mt in terms of rice). To maintain the PMGKAY for another six months (October–March), the government must allot 4.27 mt of wheat and 19.64 mt of rice, which totals 47.83 mt of rice and wheat at the current level of allocation.