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PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana extended till Diwali; 80 cr people to get free ration

PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana extended till Diwali; 80 cr people to get free ration

"In this time of pandemic, the government is standing by the poor. By November, free food grains will be available in fixed quantity every month to more than 80 crore countrymen," says PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address to the nation on Monday, said the government has decided to extend the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana till Diwali in the wake of the 2nd Covid-19 wave in the country.

"In this time of pandemic, the government is standing by the poor. By November, free food grains will be available in fixed quantities every month to more than 80 crore countrymen," said PM Modi.

The scheme was earlier rolled out for three months from April 2020 soon after the nationwide lockdown was announced to combat the COVID-19. The scheme was later extended till November 2020.

In June 30, 2020, in a televised address to the nation, the prime minister said over Rs 90,000 crore will be spent on the programme's extension.

Prime Minister Modi did not reveal the expenditure that the Centre will incur in the current phase of the scheme in his today's address.

Besides, the PM also talked about the change in the country's vaccination plan. He said the Centre will now buy 75 per cent of the total vaccines from vaccine manufacturers and give it to the state governments for free.

This is a change from the earlier strategy when states used to monitor 25 per cent of vaccine work. "That was done on May 1. They (states) understood then what difficulties are faced in making such a programme happen. Within two weeks of May, some states started saying openly that the earlier system was good. More states, even those who'd endorsed decentralisation, joined in," he said.

PM Modi said the Centre will handle the 25 per cent of work the states used to do earlier. "It will be implemented in two weeks. Centre and states will prepare themselves in 2 weeks as per new guidelines," said PM Modi.

After 21 June, the Centre will deliver vaccines to states for 18+ age groups for free. "The Centre will buy directly from manufacturers," he added.

Also read: COVID-19 vaccine supply to improve, trials ongoing for 2 vaccines for children: PM Modi

Also read: PM Modi Speech Live Updates: PM announces centralised vaccine drive, states to get vaccines for free