Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 7, Monday announced that the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, a food security welfare scheme introduced last year to provide free ration for over 80 crore poor people will be extended till Diwali 2021. The Prime Minister was addressing the nation on Monday and said that the scheme has been extended since people have suffered during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
“Last year, when the lockdown was imposed, we supplied free ration to around 80 crore needy people through the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana. This year too, this scheme was implemented in May and June, as well, owing to the second wave. Today, the government has decided that the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana will be extended till Diwali,” the PM said.
The Prime Minister made this announcement after he said that the Union government will provide free coronavirus vaccine to states for inoculation of all above the age of 18 from June 21, and asserted that vaccine supply would be increased significantly in the country in coming days.
“The Centre has decided to buy 75% of vaccines from vaccine makers, including the 25% earlier given to the states, and give the 75% vaccines for free to state governments. Private sector hospitals can continue to procure 25% of vaccines, but their service charge would be capped at Rs 150 per dose over the fixed price of the vaccine,” the Prime Minister said.
PM Modi said seven companies are producing various vaccines against the coronavirus in the country and trials of three more vaccines are at an advanced stage. The process of procuring vaccines from companies of other countries has also been expedited, the Prime Minister said.
Amid concerns expressed by experts recently over children being affected by the virus, Modi said that in this direction trials of two vaccines are being carried out. Modi said research is continuing on a nasal spray vaccine which, if successful, can significantly boost India's vaccination drive, he said. PM Modi also said that efforts are being made on a war-footing to fight the COVID-19 pandemic at various levels and production of essential medicines was ramped up.
With PTI inputs