Free ration, double pension in Delhi

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday announced several measures, including doubling pension under various categories, in a bid to alleviate the financial stress on economically backward citizens of the Capital amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Mr. Kejriwal said that free ration would be provided to 72 lakh beneficiaries in addition to government arrangements for free food at night shelters across the city.

Speaking at his first “digital-only” press conference, Mr. Kejriwal appealed to people to practice social distancing.

The AAP government, he said, had not imposed a lockdown in Delhi for now but would have to do so if the need arose in the future. He announced that the number of people allowed at social, religious and cultural gatherings have been brought down to five from 20.

"The Delhi government is taking all possible measures to tackle coronavirus in close coordination and cooperation with the Central government and the people of Delhi. The city has witnessed 26 corona cases to date, along with one unfortunate death,” he said.

The restrictions that have been imposed in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak, he said, are causing a financial burden on the poor and daily wage labourers.

"We have decided to provide 7.5 kg free ration to 72 lakh beneficiaries attached to our ration scheme for one month. Earlier, wheat was available at ₹2/kg, rice at ₹3/kg and sugar at ₹13/kg,” he said.

The Delhi government, he said, has also decided to double the pension under the widow pension scheme for 2.5 lakh beneficiaries, old-age pension scheme for 5 lakh beneficiaries, and disability pension scheme for 1 lakh beneficiaries. The beneficiaries will get the respective pension amount for March and April by April 7, he said.

"We hope that all these measures will bring a little relief to these people and their families. In addition to this, we are also arranging free lunch and dinner facilities in 220 night shelters for every person," he said.

Mr. Kejriwal also announced that 50% of government-run buses would not ply on Sunday in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a ‘janata curfew’.

The Delhi government, he said, had also decided to waive off GST charges for those who could afford to quarantine themselves at city hotels.

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Printable version | May 16, 2021 11:41:38 AM |

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