Cabinet Approves Extension of Key Schemes [Union Budget 2024]

Union Budget 2024: The government released the Interim budget for 2024 (Union Budget 2024) on 1st February 2024. After that Union Cabinet discussed multiple schemes in the Cabinet meeting and made multiple decisions for the upcoming year Union Budget 2024. The Union Cabinet has extended the Antyodaya Anya Yojana- AAY for the Next 2 years in the Cabinet meeting. Apart from this other important discussions were also taken in this Cabinet meeting. So you can check key schemes in Cabinet meeting 2024 in this article “Cabinet Approves Extension of Key Schemes [Union Budget 2024]”.

Union Budget 2024: Extension of Antyoday Anya Yojana 

The central government is offering a free food distribution scheme for the citizens in India who are living below the poverty line through the Antyodaya Anna scheme. The scheme is providing subsidies for Purchasing the sugar from the nearest ration distributor shop. Currently, AAY ration card holders are receiving an 18.60 Rs subsidy for purchasing 1 kilogram of sugar. The subsidy was proposed up to 2024. But now in the Cabinet meeting, it has been extended till 2026. Now AAY beneficiaries can purchase sugar from the ration distribution shop for the next 2 years. 

Union Budget 2024
Cabinet Approves Extension of Key Schemes [Union Budget 2024]

1,850 crore will be spent on this scheme

According to the Union Budget 2024 data of the Central Government, more than 1.89 crore citizens are registered with AAY ration cards. These beneficiaries belong to BPL families where they are earning less than the poverty line. Beneficial are receiving additional subsidies to purchase food items including flour, price, and sugar from the ration distribution shop. The central government is allowing an 18.50 Rs subsidy for purchasing 1 kilogram of sugar from 2021 after the 15th Finance Commission. The commission was prepared for the duration of 2020-21 to 2025-26. No government has also extended the existing Subsidy amount for sugar purchasing for the next 2 years. According to the government, the Government will spend more than 1,850 crore rupees during this financial session. 

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Subsidy on Sugar under the AAY scheme 

Union Budget 2024: AAY Ration card holders can purchase flour at the rate of 2 rupees per kilogram and can purchase the price for 3 rupees per kilogram. Both items can be purchased by any ration card holder at the subsidy price according to the center and state government according to their ration card. But AAY ration card holders can purchase sugar also from the ration shop at the rate of 18.5 Rs per kilogram. However, after the pandemic of COVID 19, the Central government is offering free rations to all the beneficiaries under the PMGKAY scheme. 

Major cabinet discussions 2024 

The Cabinet has given the go-ahead for a specific method to determine the marketing margin on domestic gas supplied to fertilizer (urea) units during a specific period—from May 1, 2009, to November 17, 2015. In simpler terms, they’ve established a formula to calculate the extra charge added by gas marketing companies for taking on additional risks and costs associated with marketing gas to consumers. This move is being hailed as a significant structural reform, signaling a substantial change in the way these margins are determined and applied. The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has emphasized that this approval is intended to bring about positive changes in the system.

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Marketing margin, in this context, is the additional amount charged by gas marketing companies to consumers, on top of the basic cost of gas. This extra charge compensates the companies for the risks and costs they incur in the process of marketing and distributing gas. It’s worth noting that the government had previously set the marketing margin for domestic gas supplied to urea and LPG producers back in 2015. Now, with the recent approval, there is a specific formula in place for calculating the marketing margin for the mentioned period, providing clarity and structure to this aspect of the gas supply system.

The significant aspect of this decision is that it’s expected to have a positive impact on various fertilizer (urea) units. These units will now receive additional capital to cover the marketing margins they paid for the domestic gas they procured between May 1, 2009, and November 17, 2015. This is based on the rates that have been in effect since November 18, 2015, onwards. In essence, the approval is seen as a step towards providing financial relief and support to fertilizer units, ensuring that they are compensated appropriately for the marketing margins incurred during the specified period.

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