Combating Corona: Modi extends free ration for 800 million poor Indians


As India gears up for Phase 2.0 Unlock, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the extension of the free ration scheme to help the poor during the festering coronavirus crisis which has affected more than half a million people in the country.
“PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) will be extended till the end of November in which free ration will be provided to the poor. The extension will cost over Rs 90 thousand crore,” PM Modi said in his televised address to the nation.
Mr Modi underlined that that 800 million people will get free ration for five more months. He also highlighted the work done by his government since the lockdown came into force.
“Under the PMGKAY, we announced a package of Rs 1.75 lakh crore. In the last three months, Rs 31,000 crore have been deposited in the bank accounts of 20 crore poor families. Also, Rs 18,000 crore deposited in bank accounts of more than nine crore farmers,” PM Modi said.
In his address, PM Modi also exhorted people to exercise utmost vigilance as the country opens for Phase 2 of Unlock on July 1. He underlined India’s low fatality rate as compared to the world and attributed it to the government’s decision to impose an early lockdown. He also hailed farmers and honest tax payers for their contribution in making the welfare scheme successful.
PMGKAY is a Rs 1.7-lakh crore financial package announced by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to minimise the impact of lockdown on economy and millions of poor people in the country.
The National Food Security Act provides 5kg of foodgrain per person monthly at a subsidised rate of Rs 2-3 per kg to the country’s poor. Under the PMGKY, the ration quota was enhanced by another 5 kg for free for the next three months in March.

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