Govt to distribute free foodgrains to 80 Cr people till Diwali: PM Modi
In April, the Centre had announced distribution of free food grains for the months of May and June under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday announced that the government will distribute free foodgrains to around 80 crore people till Diwali for providing relief to the poor amid the second wave of COVID-19.
In April, the Centre had announced the distribution of free foodgrains for the months of May and June under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY).
In his address to the nation, the Prime Minister announced the government's decision to extend the scheme till Diwali.
Last year when the lockdown was imposed due to coronavirus, the free ration was provided to more than 80 crore people for eight months under the PMGKAY, Modi said.
"This year too due to the second wave (of the pandemic), the scheme was implemented for May and June. Today, the government has decided to extend PMGKAY till Deepawali.
"During the pandemic, the government is standing with the poor. Till November, a fixed quantity of free foodgrains will be made available to more than 80 crore people," he said.
Under the PMGKAY, the Centre is distributing 5 kg foodgrains per person per month free of cost to approximately 79.39 crore beneficiaries, who are covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
This distribution is over and above the regular allocation to beneficiaries under the NFSA.
"...till November, 80 crore people will continue to get decided amount of free food grain every month," an official statement said.
The PMGKAY scheme was also implemented during April-November period of 2020.
The scheme was reintroduced for May-June 2021 to deal with the impact of the second wave of the pandemic. Now, the PMGKAY scheme has been extended till Diwali this year.
Earlier in May, it said that it has provided 28 lakh tonne foodgrains free of cost to about 55 crore beneficiaries in May through ration shops under a scheme to provide relief to the people during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)
Edited by Anju Narayanan