Headlines July 1, 2020
PM extends free food grains scheme to end November
In an address to the country on Tuesday evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended a key government scheme to distribute free food grains to 80 crore of India’s poorest people until the end of November. This is to give relief during the festival season as the country fights coronavirus.
PM Modi said, “Keeping in mind all the festivals that are coming up in the next few months, this scheme to provide 80 crore people with 5 kg free ration and 1 kg dal (pulses) per month will now be extended till Diwali and Chhath Puja, or till the end of November”.
The government plans to spend 90,000 crore rupees on expanding the free ration scheme called the Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Yojana, till November.
Chhath Puja is one of the most important festivals of Bihar, where elections are due around November. The Prime Minister’s announcement comes at a time when his partners in Bihar’s ruling coalition have called for relief for thousands of migrants who remain without jobs after they returned to the state.
The PM made no mention of China in his address. This was his first address to the country since the 15 June clash in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed by Chinese troops.
PM Modi also talked about the “One Nation, One Ration Card” scheme which he said would benefit thousands of migrant workers and their families who had no fixed home or documents.
He also praised farmers and taxpayers with strengthening India’s fight against the deadly virus that has infected over five lakh people. “You all have paid your taxes, that is the reason that the poor and migrants are not hungry. On behalf of the entire nation, I would like to thank all the farmers and the taxpayers.”
He also said that careless social and personal behaviour seen after Unlock1 came into force was cause for concern.
“Earlier, we were careful about masks, do gaj doori (social distancing) and washing our hands. But now, when we need to be more cautious, increasing carelessness is cause for concern. People have to become cautious again, especially in containment zones,” PM Modi said.
The Prime Minister said India was better off compared to many countries and lakhs of lives were saved because of the lockdown and other decisions taken timely.
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