New Delhi: 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 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, 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.