Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Monday that the PM Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana will be extended till November, and will provide free ration to those in need. Over Rs 90,000 crore will be spent on this, PM Modi said. “If we add the previous months’ expenditure on this scheme, then the expense adds up to Rs 1.5 lakh crore,” he added
“PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana will be extended till Diwali and Chhath Puja (November). For these five months, every family will get 5 kg rice or 5 kg wheat and 1 kilo chana (gram) to every family under this scheme. This will benefit 80 crore people,” Modi said. Rs 90,000 crore to be spent on providing free ration to the poor for five more months.
The Prime Minister added that under the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana, the government had announced a package of Rs. 1.75 lakh crore. In the last 3 months, Rs. 31,000 crore have been deposited in bank accounts of 20 crore poor families and Rs 18000 crore have deposited in bank accounts of more than 9 crore farmers, PM Modi said.
The government will work continuously to help the poor and the needy of the country, the PM added, and said economic activities will be boosted to make India an ‘atma-nirbhar’ (self-reliant) country.
The Prime Minister also spoke about how people were not being careful enough during Unlock 2.0, calling it a 'cause for concern' and emphasised on taking precautions. The country entered ‘Unlock 2’ from July 1, for which guidelines were issued by the Union Home Ministry on Monday night, further easing the restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus lockdown.
“We have entered Unlock 2 in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic and we are also entering the weather where there is an increase in cold cough and such illnesses. At such a time, I appeal to citizens to take precautions,” Modi said. “We need to be especially careful in containment zones. Those not following the rules should be stopped and made aware,” he added. He urged that people should continue wearing masks in public, practice physical distancing and not be careless.
This was the prime minister's sixth address to the nation since the outbreak of the pandemic. PM Modi had last addressed the nation on May 12 when he had announced a Rs 20-lakh-crore financial package to boost the economy recovering from coronavirus-induced lockdown.
In his recent interaction with the chief ministers, he had urged them to think about phase 2 of unlocking to boost the economy hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and the nationwide lockdown.
In his March 19 address, the prime minister announced a "janta curfew" on March 22. On March 24, he announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown. On April 14, he extended the lockdown period till May 3. On April 3, in a video message, Modi asked the nation to light lamps for frontline corona warriors on April 5.
The lockdown was further extended till May 17 by the Home Ministry. Now, the country is in the phase one of 'unlock' and the month-long phase 2 begins on July 1.
With PTI inputs