80 crore people will get free rice, wheat, chana: PM Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi

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New Delhi, June 30, 2020: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today addressed the nation and announced the extension of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana till the end of November.

Helping hand to the poor: Prime Minister emphasized that provision of food to those in need during lockdown has been the foremost priority of the country. As soon as lockdown was announced, the government brought about PM Garib KalyanYojana, under which a package of Rs 1.75 lakh crore for the poor was announced.

He noted that in the last three months, Rs 31,000 crore has been transferred in the Jan Dhan accounts of almost 20 crore poor families, Rs 18,000 crore has been transferred to the bank accounts of more than 9 crore farmers and Rs 50,000 crore is being spent on PM Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan, which has been started to provide employment opportunities.

Extension of PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana till November: Prime Minister observed that the enormity of the decision to provide free ration for three months to more than 80 crore people ie providing 5 kg free rice/wheat to each member of the family, along with providing 1 kg pulses to each family, per month, has made the entire world take notice. The number of people who were provided free ration is several times the population of many large countries, he said.

Prime Minister noted that with the commencement of the rainy season, most of the work takes place in the agriculture sector. Also,several festivals take place one after the other, including Guru Purnima, Rakshabandhan, Shri Krishna Janmashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi, Onam, Dussehra, Deepawali, Chhath Puja, among others. He announced that keeping in mind that requirements as well as expenditure increase during this time, the government has decided to extend PM GaribKalyan Anna Yojana tillDeepawali and Chhath Puja, ie the scheme will continue to remain applicable from July till the end of November. During this five-month period, more than 80 crore peoplewill be provided 5 kg free wheat/rice per month. Along with providing 5kg free rice/wheat to each member of a family, 1 kg free whole chana will also be provided to each family per month.

The government will spend more than Rs 90,000 crore towards the extension of the scheme, the Prime Minister said, adding that if the amount spent towards it in the previous three months is added together, a total of almost Rs 1.5 lakh crore would be spent towards the scheme. He credited and thanked the hard-working farmers and honest tax payers for making it possible for the government to procure and distribute free foodgrains.

Prime Minister underlined that the country is moving towards the institution of ‘one nation, one ration card’, which will be of immense benefit to the poor who travel to other states in search of work.

Staying safe during Unlock 2: Prime Minister noted that the shift of the fight against coronavirus to Unlock 2 coincides with the weather which results in several ailments. He asked everyone to take care of their health. He observed that due to timely decisions like lockdown, it has been possible to save the lives of lakhs of people and the death rate in the country is amongst the lowest in the world. However, irresponsible and negligent behavior has been on the rise during Unlock 1, he said, adding that earlier people were more careful about usage of mask, washing hands for more than 20 seconds several times during the day and maintaining ‘do gaz doori’. He emphazied that when more being more careful is necessary, rise of negligence is a cause of concern.

Prime Minister said that regulations need to be followed with the same seriousness as during Lockdown, especially in the Containment Zones. He exhorted people to spread awareness amongst those not following such rules and regulations, giving example of the Prime Minister of a country being fined Rs 13000 for not wearing mask in a public place. He said that local administration in India will need to act with same alacrity, since no one, including the Prime Minister, is above the rule of law.

Looking ahead: Prime Minister said that in the coming times, government will continue to take further steps to empower the poor and the needy. Economic activities will also be enhanced, with due precautions in place. He reiterated the pledge to work towardsAtmanirbhar Bharat and to be vocal for local, while also asking people to be careful,use mask/face cover and continue following the mantra of maintaining ‘do gaz doori’.

Here is the text of PM Modi’s address to the nation: 

“My dear countrymen, namaskar!

We are now entering Unlock-Two in our fight against the corona pandemic. We are also entering the season of increasing cases of cough, cold and fever. I, therefore, request all of you to take special care of yourselves

Friends, considering corona’s death rate, India is comparatively in a better position compared to many countries of the world. Timely imposition of lockdown and other decisions have saved lakhs of lives. But we have also seen that since Unlock-One, there is increasing negligence in personal and social behaviour. Earlier, we were very careful with respect to wearing of masks, social distancing and washing of hands for 20 seconds. But today, when we need to be more careful, increasing negligence is a cause of worry.

Friends, rules were followed very strictly during the Lockdown. Now governments, local bodies, citizens, need to show similar alertness. Especially, we need to focus more on containment zones. Those not following the rules will need to be stopped and cautioned. You must have seen in the news, Prime Minister of a country was fined Rs. 13,000 for not wearing a mask in public place. In India too, the local administration should work with the same enthusiasm. This is a drive to protect the lives of 130 crore countrymen. Be it a village pradhan or the Prime Minister, no one is above the law in India

Friends, nation’s top priority during the lockdown was to ensure that no one remains hungry. Central government, state governments, civil society, all did their best… to ensure that no one goes to bed

hungry. Be it a nation or a person, timely and sensible decisions increase our power to fight any crisis. Thus, immediately after the lockdown, the government brought out the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana. Under this scheme, a package worth Rs. 1.75 lakh crore was provided for the poor.

Friends, in the last three months, 20 Crore poor households have received direct benefit transfers worth Rs. 31,000 Crore. During this period, Rs. 18,000 crore have been deposited in bank accounts of over 9 Crore farmers. Simultaneously, Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan was quickly launched for employment of Shramiks in rural areasGovernment is spending Rs. 50,000 Crore on this.

Friends, there is another big thing that has surprised the whole world. In India, over 80 crore people were given free ration for three months. It means, every member of the family was given 5 kilogram wheat or rice, free of cost. In addition, every family got one kilogram pulse per month, free of cost. In a way, over 2.5 times the population of the United States, 12 times the population of the United Kingdom and double the population of the European Union was given free ration by our government.

Friends, today, I am making a big announcement related to this. Friends, in our country, there are many activities in agriculture during and after rainy season. Other sectors do not have much activity. July also marks beginning of the festive season. 5th July is Guru Purnima, then month of Saawan is starting. Then 15th August is coming, Raksha Bandhan, Sri Krishna Janmashtami,Ganesh Chaturthi, Onam will follow. Further, Kati Bihu, Navratri, Durga Puja is coming, then Dussera, Diwali and Chhath. This festive season increases necessities as well as expenditure. Keeping all these things in mind, it has been decided to extend Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana up to Diwali and Chhath Puja, till November-end.

It means, this scheme giving free ration to 80 crore people will continue in July, August, September, October, November. Government will provide free ration to 80 crore poor brothers-sisters for five months. Every member of family will get five kilogram wheat or rice. Also, every family will get one kilogram whole chana per month, free of cost.

Friends, over 90 thousand crore rupees will be spent on this extension of PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana. If we add expenditure of last three months on this scheme, then it comes to around 1.5 lakh crore rupees.

We have seen a dream for the whole country and some states have really done well. We are requesting other states also totake it forward. And, what is that?Now, One Nation, One Ration card is also being implemented. Major beneficiaries of this will be those who go to other states, in search of employment.

Friends, today, if the government is able to provide free ration to the needy and poor, then credit for it goes to two categories. One – hard working farmers of our country. Second – honest taxpayers of our country. It is your hard work and dedication, due to which the nation is able to do it. You have filled the stocks of the nation, therefore, there is food in kitchen of poor, workers.You paid the tax honestly, you fulfilled your duty. That is why, the poor of the country is successfully coping with such a big crisis. On behalf of all the poor of the country, I express my heartfelt gratitude to all the taxpayers and farmers, and also salute them.

Friends! In the coming days, we will further strengthen our efforts and continuously work to empower the poor, downtrodden and deprived sections of society. While taking all the precautions, we will further expand the Economic Activities. We will work ceaselessly for Atmanirbhar Bharat. We all will be vocal for Local. With this pledge and commitment, the 130 crore people of this country will have to work together and move forward together.

I once again request you, pray for your, and appeal to you, that you all remain healthy, maintain a distance of two yards, always use your ‘Gamchha’, Face cover and mask. Please, do not be careless.

With this appeal, best wishes to all of you!”

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