New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced extension of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), a free ration scheme. Prime Minister in his address to the nation announced that the government will extend the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana to provide free ration to 80 crore poor for five more months till the end of November, across the country. The scheme was initially rolled out for three months.
Under the scheme the government will be providing 5 kg free rice/wheat to each member of the family, along with providing 1 kg pulses to each family, per month free of cost.
Prime Minister said that provision of food to those in need during lockdown has been the foremost priority of the country.
PM said, “This time of festivals also increases needs and expenses. Keeping all these things in mind, it has been decided that the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana should now be extended till Diwali and Chhath Puja, that is, by the end of November.”
The government will spend more than Rs 90,000 crore towards the extension of the scheme, the Prime Minister said, adding that if the amount spent towards it in the previous three months is added together, a total of almost Rs 1.5 lakh crore would be spent towards the scheme. He credited and thanked the hard-working farmers and honest tax payers for making it possible for the government to procure and distribute free food grains.
Prime Minister underlined that the country is moving towards the institution of ‘one nation, one ration card’, which will be of immense benefit to the poor who travel to other states in search of work.
PM Modi once again stressed on wearing masks and following social distancing norms and said nobody is above rules. PM Modi said a timely lockdown and other decisions saved many lives but people have been negligent in their personal and social behaviour since Unlock 1.
He asked everyone to take care of their health. He observed that due to timely decisions like lockdown, it has been possible to save the lives of lakhs of people and the death rate in the country is amongst the lowest in the world.
Prime Minister said that regulations need to be followed with the same seriousness as during Lockdown, especially in the Containment Zones. He exhorted people to spread awareness amongst those not following such rules and regulations, giving example of the Prime Minister of a country being fined Rs 13000 for not wearing mask in a public place. He said that local administration in India will need to act with same alacrity, since no one, including the Prime Minister, is above the rule of law.
Prime Minister said that in the coming times, government will continue to take further steps to empower the poor and the needy. Economic activities will also be enhanced, with due precautions in place. He reiterated the pledge to work towards Atmanirbhar Bharat and to be vocal for local, while also asking people to be careful, use mask/face cover and continue following the mantra of maintaining ‘do gaz doori’.