The Centre declared on Friday (April 23) that it will prove free foodgrain for two months (May and June) to nearly 80 crore Indians under the PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that his government will spend Rs 26,000 crore to provide 5 kg free foodgrain per beneficiary per month to help tide over the COVID crisis.
The Prime Minister said that it is absolutely necessary that the poor are not deprived of nutritional requirements when the country is battling the second COVID-19 wave.
“Five kg per person per month to be provided to nearly 80 crore beneficiaries free of cost, covered under National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) over and above NFSA foodgrains for next two months i.e. May and June 2021,” a declared a press release issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
“The Government of India will bear all expenditure of over Rs 26,000 crore on account of food subsidy and Central assistance to states/UTs on account of intrastate transportation etc,” the release said.
The PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana was announced in March last year, at the beginning of the COVID crisis, to provide free foodgrain to the poor for three months (April-June). The scheme was later extended till November.
The PM’s announcement came on the day the country recorded 3.32 lakh new cases in 24 hours, taking the country’s tally to 1,62,63,695, while active cases crossed the 24-lakh mark.
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray declared free ration to the poor on April 13, the day he declared lockdown-like restriction because of sudden rise in cases. As per the scheme, the Maharashtra Government will provide three kilos of wheat and two kilos of rice for free for next one month to every poor and needy person.