Delhi, April 23: The government will provide free food grains to the poor under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana in May and June, officials said on Friday. The development comes at a time when localized lockdowns are being imposed in most parts of the country to curb the recent surge in coronavirus infections.
Officials said 5 kg free food grains per person per month would be given to around 800 million people for the two months.
In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment to the poor, the government has decided to provide free food grains to about 800 million beneficiaries as was done during the coronavirus-induced lockdown last year, the officials said.
“To ameliorate the hardships faced by the poor and needy due to economic disruptions caused by the Covid-19 outbreak in the country, the Government of India have decided to allocate free-of-cost food grains @ 5 kg per person per month to nearly 80 Crore beneficiaries covered under National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) over and above NFSA foodgrains for next two months i.e. May and June 2021,” said the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution in a statement on Friday.
“Under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY), around 80 Crore NFSA beneficiaries covered under both categories of NFSA, namely Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Householders (PHH) will be provided with an additional quota of free-of-cost foodgrains (rice/wheat) at a scale of 5 kg per person per month, over and above their regular monthly entitlements under NFSA,” the ministry added.
PM Modi stressed that it is important that the poor have nutritional support when the country is facing a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, officials said.
Food and Public Distribution Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey said that 800 million PDS beneficiaries will get the benefit to tide over the impact of the pandemic. The Government of India would spend more than Rs 26,000 crore on this initiative, they said.
The chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Pema Khandu, in his twitter thanked the PM for his initiative in helping the people of Arunachal by deciding to give 5 kg free food grains to the poor people in the month of May & June 2021. Along with this around 80 crore beneficiaries are to get free food grains from Gol.
The Chief Minister tweeted, “Thank you PM @narendramodi Ji for launching the free food grains scheme for the poor. This will help the vulnerable section of people to come up with the second wave of the #Covid19 pandemic. This pro-poor initiative is a timely and effective step in the fight against #coronavirus.”
Thank you PM @narendramodi Ji for launching the free food grains scheme for the poor.
This will help the vulnerable section of people to cope up with the second wave of #Covid19 pandemic.
— Pema Khandu པདྨ་མཁའ་འགྲོ་། (@PemaKhanduBJP) April 23, 2021
Last year, the government had provided benefits to the people during the COVID 19 pandemic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stressed that it is important that the poor people of the country have nutritional support when the country is facing the second wave of coronavirus. He said the government will spend more than 26 thousand crores on this initiative.