New Delhi: The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday extended the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana for another six months- till September 2022. The food security welfare scheme announced by the Centre on March 26, 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic was also considered a game changer in Uttar Pradesh polls. Announcing the decision to extend the scheme till September this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a tweet, said that more than 80 crore people of the country will benefit from the scheme. The 5th Phase of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana is scheduled to end in March 2022. The scheme has been under implementation since April 2020, as the largest food security program in the world, a Union Cabinet release stated. The government has spent approximately Rs. 2.60 Lakh Crore so far and another Rs. 80,000 Crore will be spent over the next 6 months till September 2022 taking the total expenditure under the scheme to nearly Rs. 3.40 lakh crore. This will cover nearly 80 crore beneficiaries across India and would be fully funded by the centre as before. Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly abated and economic activities are gathering momentum, this extension would ensure that no poor household goes to bed without food during this time of recovery, the government release said. Each beneficiary will get additional 5 kg free ration per person per month in addition to his normal quota of foodgrains under the National Food Security Act. “Till the completion of Phase V, the government had allocated about 759 LMT of free foodgrain under the scheme. With another 244 LMT of free foodgrain under the current extension, the aggregate allocation of free foodgrain under the scheme now stand at 1,003 LMT of foodgrain,” the release stated. The benefit of free ration can be availed through portability by any migrant labour or beneficiary under One Nation One Ration Card plan from nearly 5 lakh ration shops across the country.