Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced the extension of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), a free ration scheme, for 80 crore people across the country till end of November. This was his sixth address since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. He had last addressed the nation on May 12 when he had announced a Rs 20-lakh-crore financial package to boost the economy recovering from coronavirus-induced lockdown.
In his speech at 4 PM, Modi also said the government was working on a "one nation, one ration card" initiative.
On the extension of the PMGKAY, he said it will cost the government Rs 90,000 crore more.
Under the scheme, five kgs of wheat or rice and one kg of pulses per month will be given free of cost to the poor. The scheme was initially rolled out for three months.
The Prime Minister also said timely lockdown to contain coronavirus and other decisions saved many lives, but added that since "Unlock 1" has begun, people have shown negligence.
He said in comparison to other countries across the globe, India has done well in dealing with the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Twitter users hailed PM Modi's decision to extend Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana till November. "Commendable decision by the Govt to extend free ration scheme till November. Much maligned PDS and MGNREGS have emerged as the biggest weapons in dealing with the economic shock of covid-19. Going forward, we ought to strengthen not weaken these schemes," said a Twitter user. "The sheer determination of honorable PM for uplifting the poor Indian citizens is praiseworthy. Modi government is committed for the betterment of masses," said another Twitter user.
Here are some of the Twitter reactions:
The country will be entering "Unlock 2.0" from tomorrow for which guidelines were issued by the Union Home Ministry on Monday night, further easing the restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Meanwhile, with 18,522 people testing positive for COVID-19 in a single day, India's case count reached 5,66,840 on Tuesday while the death toll rose to 16,893 with 418 new fatalities.
(With input from Agencies)