Narendra Modi (Photo: PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday extended Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) for another five months till the end of November to help the poor in view of the upcoming festivals like Diwali and Chhath.
The Prime Minister made the announcement in his sixth address to the nation in four months since the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic broke out and started getting out of hand.
"Keeping needs of expenses of people, it has been decided that the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana should now be extended till Diwali and Chhath Puja. The scheme will be extended till the end of November," the Prime Minister said during his 16-minute address.
Modi said that more than Rs 90,000 crore will be spent in the expansion of the scheme and around 80 crore people across the country will be provided free ration -- five kg wheat or 5 kg rice.
The Prime Minister also said that every family will also be provided 1 kg gram (chana) under the scheme every month.
Explaining the expenses, the Prime Minister said it comes to almost one and a half lakh crore if the expenses of the last three months are added to it. Though the country is currently in 'Unlock 2' mode to help revive the stagnant economy, the Prime Minister requested people to keep precautions and follow the guidelines.
The Prime Minister addressed the nation for the second time in the span of three days as the nation headed towards a scarier and worse state of coronavirus outbreak pushing the total tally of Covid-19 cases to 5,66,840, with the number of fatalities inching closer to 17,000-mark.
On an average, there are around 18,000-20,000 Covid-19 cases reported every day and while the central government might be on the brink of coming up with a vaccine soon, the worry is still imminent given the expanse of the country and its demographic divide.