Narendra Modi's address to the nation: PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana extended till November 30
The Prime Minister did not utter a word on China and the tension along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, and instead focused on the COVID situation in the country.
Addressing the nation the sixth time since the begining of the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced the extension of the PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana till the end of November, stating that no one died of hunger in India during the lockdown.
During the speech, which lasted for 16 minutes, the Prime Minister also stated that during this extension of the PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana scheme, over 80 crore people will be entitled to five kilos of free wheat or rice, and an additional one kilo of any one pulse per family.
Defying expectations, the Prime Minister did not utter a word on China and the tension along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, and instead focused on the COVID situation in the country.
According to the Prime Minister, this extension of the food scheme will cost the government an additional Rs 90,000 crores, taking the total expense of the PMGKAY up to 1.5 lakh crores.
The Prime Minister said that under this scheme, more than 80 crore people were benefitted in the last three months.
This announcement comes after at least 10 states and several experts sought extension of the free grain distribution programme.
"We have more work during and after the rainy season, mainly in the agriculture sector. There is a slight slowness in other sectors. gradually, the atmosphere of festivals starts to build from July. This time of festivals also increases the needs, the expenses also. 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," Modi said.
During the speech, Modi once again spoke about how in relative terms India is still doing better than some other countries in controlling the deaths due to COVID-19. "In comparison to other countries across the globe, India is still in a very stable situation in the battle against COVID-19. Timely decisions and measures have played a great role," he said.
But Modi also warned the people against getting negligent about usage of masks, washing hands and maintaining physical distance. He said that people have become more irresponsible and careless about COVID-19 prevention guidelines since the start of Unlock 1.0. He reiterated the importance of social distancing and wearing masks and warned people against letting down their guard against the pandemic.
The Prime Minister also spoke about the 'One Nation, One Ration Card' intiative, saying that "[The government is] arranging a ration card for the entire nation and the biggest benefit of this will be to those poor workers who leave their village and go elsewhere for employment or other needs."
Along with the farmers, the Prime Minister also thanked the tax payers saying, "You have faithfully filled taxes, fulfilled your obligation, so today the poor of the country is able to cope with such a big crisis. I would like to greet every farmer, every taxpayer of the country very heartily, along with every poor person. I bow to them."