The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) has reduced the probability of people consuming less food by 76% and pared their usage of utilities by 75%, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Wednesday, citing an independent study.
Stressing that the government has been responsive to crises, Ms. Sitharaman cited a KPMG study done with German institution Kfw which confirmed that the PMGKY, announced in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, yielded good results as it was a timely response.
“Overall, the study showed that assistance under the PMGKY reduced the probability of borrowing money for 67% of all the respondents. So they lived their lives with dignity, and that is a study by an agency completely outside the government and all of us can take some comfort from it,” she said.
“When the government looks at targeted approach of providing assistance instead of splashing money and takes input from the ground and does so quickly, in a timely and very open manner, the impact is there for all of us to see,” she said at an event to launch the Department of Economic Affairs’ iconic week celebrations.
Ms. Sitharaman also referred to a study by an Indian School of Business professor which linked the Ayushman Bharat scheme with a 21% decline in out-of-pocket health expenditure and an 8% fall in the tendency to borrow for emergency health purposes among poor households.
Citing another study on the Emergency Credit Liquidity Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS), the Minister said loans sanctioned have crossed ₹3.19 lakh crore as of March 2022, and this “handholding has kept many people afloat during the pandemic”.