PM Modi announces free food grain scheme extension, urges people to wear masks
In his address, the sixth to the nation since the coronavirus pandemic started, PM Modi said a timely lockdown and other decisions saved many lives but people have been negligent in their personal and social behaviour since Unlock 1.Updated: Jun 30, 2020 17:14 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a key government scheme for free food grain to more than 80 crore poor people will be extended until November amid the coronavirus pandemic.
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 Anna Yojana. 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.
The Prime Minister the government along with the people will push economic activities keeping all precautions in mind and be vocal for local to make India self-reliant.
“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.
Before this, Modi once again stressed about following rules like wearing masks and following social distancing norms and said nobody is above rules. PM Modi said a timely lockdown and other decisions saved many lives but people have been negligent in their personal and social behaviour since Unlock 1.
“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.
“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.
Ahead of his address, PM Modi chaired a high-level meeting to review the preparations for vaccination against Covid-19 as and when a vaccine is available.
Modi had last addressed the nation on May 12 when he had announced a Rs 20 lakh crore financial package to boost the economy recovering from coronavirus-induced lockdown.
On March 19, the Prime Minister had announced a day’s Janta Curfew for March 22. He had announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown on March 24.
PM Modi asked the nation on April 3, in a video message, to light lamps and clang utensils the next day for frontline workers. He had then extended the lockdown period till May 3 in an address on April 14.
The lockdown was further extended till May 17 by the home ministry. The government on Monday announced the month-long Unlock 2 from Wednesday and issued guidelines further easing the restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus lockdown.
However, schools, colleges, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, bars, assembly halls and Metro services will remain closed.