PM Modi Extends Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana till November; Emphasises on Increasing Economic Activities Further
Prime minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced the extension of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana till the end of November. He also says economic activities in the country will be increased further while observing all precautions to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. He further said that schemes focused on agriculture, economically weaker sections of society and rural areas will aid in employment generating during the monsoon and thereafter. Besides, the PM pointed out, the country will continue with its efforts for import substitution and will become even more 'Vocal for Local'.
 
In his address to the nation, the PM 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 Kalyan Yojana, under which a package of Rs1.75 lakh crore for the poor was announced.
 
 
PM Modi observed that the enormity of the decision to provide free ration for three months to more than 80 crore people i.e. providing 5 kg free rice or wheat to each member of the family, along with providing 1kg 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.
 
The 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 says, "Keeping in mind that requirements as well as expenditure increase during this time, the government has decided to extend PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana till Deepawali 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 people will be provided 5 kg free wheat/rice per month. Along with providing 5kg free rice or wheat to each member of a family, 1 kg free whole chana will also be provided to each family per month."
 
According to economist and social scientist Reetika Khera extending the doubling of food entitlements for those who are covered by the National Food Security Act (NFSA) is a very welcome move, a big relief, especially given the rising food stocks situation. "Also, inclusion and continuation of 1 kg dal is good. This should be made a permanent entitlement," she says.
 
The government will spend more than Rs90,000 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 Rs1.5 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 food grains.
 
Ms Khera, who is associate professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM Ahmedabad), says that there is a need to go beyond the NFSA mandate. She feels, many gig economy workers, street vemdors, auto and taxi drivers, who otherwise managed on their own are in need of support right now and our foodstocks allow us to expand the public distribution system (PDS).

She says, "The finance minister had announced that 8 crore migrants will be added to the PDS food safety net for two months. We do not know the status of this and in any case they should be added permanently in order for us to meet our legal obligations under the NFSA, which mandates coverage of 67% of the population and 81 crore is about 60% only."
 
PM Modi also 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 Modi also 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 says 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 behaviour has been on the rise during Unlock 1. Earlier people were more careful about usage of mask, washing hands for more than 20 seconds several times during the day and maintaining ‘do gazdoori’. When more being more careful is necessary, rise of negligence is a cause of concern," Mr Modi added.
 
According to the PM, 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 Rs13000 for not wearing mask in a public place. 
 
Mr Modi says, "Local administration in India will need to act with same alacrity, since no one, including the prime minister, is above the rule of law."
 
In the coming times, the prime minister says 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 towards Atmanirbhar Bharat and to be vocal for local, while also asking people to be careful, use mask or face cover and continue following the mantra of maintaining ‘do gaz doori’.
 
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    Big relief to train passengers as Tatkal ticket bookings resume for 230 special trains
    In a big relief to train passengers, the Indian Railways has resumed bookings of Tatkal tickets for all 230 special trains from June 29, a service that was stopped in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
     
    The Railways had suspended passenger, mail and express trains during the nationwide lockdown from March 25.
     
    A senior Railway Ministry official said here that the public was made aware on May 31 that the Tatkal quota facility could be availed in all special trains from June 29 onwards.
     
    "Tatkal bookings were done on Monday for trains commencing from Tuesday," he said.
     
    Bookings under Tatkal quota are done a day before the train journey post 10 am for AC seats, and post 11 am for sleeper class seats.
     
    Last month, before running the 200 pairs of special trains, the Railways had resumed 30-day advance bookings at railway station reservation counters.
     
    The Railways had also said that reservation against cancellation (RAC) tickets and waiting-list tickets will be issued in these trains but waitlisted passengers will not be allowed to board the trains.
     
    The Railways is currently operating 230 special trains across the country and these would be the only trains operating after July 1 as in an earlier announcement the Railways had cancelled all regular trains scheduled between July 1 and August 12.
     
    A Ministry spokesperson had earlier said that the advance reservation period for the 30 Special Rajdhani and 200 special mail and express trains had been increased from 30 days to 120 days, giving passengers more time to plan their journeys.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    COMMENTS

    tillan2k

    4 days ago

    Greed of Govt has no limits it wants revenue from both the ends , reducing expenditure by reducing facilities and increasing revenue by increasing prices

    Unlock 2: No bar, pass for inter-state travel, Home Secy to states
    Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Monday wrote to Chief Secretaries of all states and Union Territories, making it clear that there shall be absolutely no hindrance in inter-state or intra-state movements of individuals or goods. No separate permits or passes will be required for the same, he said.
     
    He also intimated the states about the new exemptions of Unlock 2 that will kick in from Wednesday, as well as asking them to strictly comply with the restrictions that the Centre continues to remain.A
     
    While informing about the opening up of economic activities, Bhalla said: "Lockdown, however, shall continue to be implemented strictly in the continent zones till 31 July, 2020 with strict perimeter controls and strict enforcement of containment measures as per guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW)."
     
    Noting that the new guidelines, issued Monday, are based on feedback received from states and UTs, and extensive consultations held with related Central Ministries and Departments, he said that training institutions of the Central and state governments will be allowed to function with effect from July 15.
     
    However, the Home Secretary empahsised that compliance of imposed restrictions is very necessary. "I would like to reiterate again that states/Union Territories cannot dilute restrictions imposed vide the aforesaid guidelines issued by the MHA," he cautioned. However, the states will be free to prohibit activities outside containment zones, which are otherwise allowed by the Centre, if they find it necessary.
     
    The Centre announced the guidelines for Lockdown 2 on Monday night which it said will be in force till July 31. Almost all activities are being allowed outside containment zones save a few like operation of schools, and colleges, Metro rail services, international travel among others.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    COMMENTS

    jjain782

    1 day ago

    Government wants everybody to be garib so that it can do Kalyan for all

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