Keeping the pandemic in mind Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced the extension of a key government scheme for free food grain to more than 80 crore poor people till November.
PM Modi’s announcement came during his address to the nation as the country’s coronavirus disease (Covid-19) tally surged beyond 5.66 lakh.
“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,” PM Modi said in his sixth address to the nation since the coronavirus pandemic started.
“More than Rs 90,000 crore will be spent in this expansion of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojna. If you add the expenses of the last three months to it, then it becomes almost one and a half lakh crore rupees,” he added during the virtual address.
PM Modi said that “hardworking farmers and honest taxpayers” have helped push the government’s food scheme as he thanked them for their efforts.
“Today, if the government is able to provide free food grains to the poor and the needy, the credit goes to two sections. First, the hardworking farmers of our country and second, the honest taxpayers. I thank you from my heart,” he said.
PM Modi also urges people of the country to continue to follow the rules of WHO, wearing masks, washing hands, and maintaining the distance of two-yard. He also stressed not to be careless about these rules.
“With this resolve, we 130 crore countrymen have to work together with the resolution to work and move forward. Once again I pray for you and urge all of you to be healthy, keep following the two-yard rule, use gamchas, and mask always. Do not be careless,” he said.
“Earlier, we were very cautious about masks, maintaining a two-yard distance, washing hands several times a day for 20 seconds,” the Prime Minister said.
He also appreciated that the ruled were followed by the government, local body entities, and citizens of the country.
“The rules were followed very seriously during the lockdown. Now governments, local body entities, citizens of the country need to show the same vigilance again,” he added.
India reported 18,522 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, slightly lower than Sunday’s record of 19,906, according to the Union health ministry Tuesday.
India is behind only the United States, Brazil, and Russia in total cases with more than 566,000 infections. More than 16,800 people have died in the country.