Economy

Free foodgrains, pulses scheme for poor extended till November, says PM Modi

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 30, 2020 Published on June 30, 2020

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi   -  PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced extending PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana till November. Initially the scheme was for three months ending June 30.

Under the scheme, 80 crore individuals will continue to get 5 kg of wheat or rice, free of cost per month till November. This will be over and above the foodgrains being made available under the public distribution system through ration shops and subsidised price.

Also, each poor household will get 1 kg of pulses per month free of cost. Modi said that the extension of the scheme will cost over ₹90,000 crore. Adding the first three months’ expenditure, the total spend comes up to ₹1.50 lakh-crore.

“More than 80 crore people have been given ration (5 kg rice/wheat) for three months free of cost, moreover, every family has been given 1 kg dal too free of cost. This is something which has astounded the world,” Modi said a televised address to the nation, his sixth after Covid-19 pandemic hit the country.

Farmers, taxpayers hailed

The Prime Minister said that credit for making this scheme a success goes to two sections of people: farmers and taxpayers.

“This scheme has been implemented because of labour and dedication of you (farmers and taxpayers),” he said.

During this agricultural crop year (July, 2019-June, 2020), total foodgrain production is estimated to touch a record 30 crore tonne. Now, as normal monsoon is expected and kharif sowing is almost 39 per cent higher than last year, foodgrains production is set to increase.

The Prime Minister urged States to implement the ‘One Nation-One Ration Card’ with full vigour. This will help people to get subsidised foodgrain, even after they move from their home towns/villages to cities.

Though, Modi noted that lower fatality rate puts India is in a much better situation compared to various other countries, there are still issues of concern.

“Timely lockdown and other decisions have saved lives of lakhs of people in India, at the same time, careless behaviour is slightly increasing since Unlock 1.0 was announced,” he said while adding that during lockdown, laws were followed strictly.

“Now, we all need to exhibit the same level of carefulness. Special attention is required on containment zones. Those breaking the law need to be stopped and made to understand,” he said.

The Prime Minister made it clear that no violator should be spared.

“No one, whether village head or Prime Minister, is above the law. Central and state governments and civil society took full effort to ensure that no poor person sleeps hungry during the lockdown,” he said while adding that timely decisions increase many-fold our capability to deal with the crisis.

Published on June 30, 2020
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