Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address to the nation on Tuesday evening, announced that the free foodgrain scheme to poor families will be extended till November.
This was the prime minister’s sixth address to the nation since the outbreak of COVID-19.
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To ramp up economic activities and atma nirbhar, we will go vocal for local, says the Prime Minister.
He reiterates the need to remain safe by adopting social distancing and wear masks.
I again ask all of you to stay healthy. Observe all the precautions necessary to beat Corona. Remember to maintain physical distancing, wear a mask or gamcha or a cloth to cover face and nose, and don't forget to wash your hands for 20 seconds, he says before ending his speech.
Free food grains scheme extended
The monsoon season in India also marks the beginning of festivities in India, Mr. Modi says listing the religious and national festivals.
Mr. Modi says keeping in mind, the expenses incurred by families in times of festivals, the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana will be extended till November.
"80 crore people will be given free grains for the next five months. These families will be given five kilograms of rice or wheat and one kilogram of lentils," he says.
The scheme will cost Rs. 90,000 crore to the exchequer, Mr. Modi says.
For the whole country we are trying for the one nation, one ration card, says Prime Minister Modi.
The credit for this distribution of grains is to the farmers and the honest taxpayers of the country, he adds.
Under lockdown, there were full efforts to ensure that no one slept on an empty stomach, says Prime Minister Modi.
As soon as lockdown was announced the government announced the Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Yojana, through which Rs. 1.75 lakh crore was distributed to the needy, he says.
"In the last three months, Rs. 31,000 crore was sent directly to people’s accounts," he says.
But there is another thing that has astonished the world- that 80 crore people were provided free grains - five kilos of rice/wheat and a kilo of wheat - for the poor families, he says.
Mr. Modi says some people have become lackadaisical in following the norms.
"We are seeing that ever since we entered Unlock 1, we have become lackadaisical with regard to social distance, wearing a mask or frequent hand washing," he says.
"I again want you all to observe precautions in the same way as under lockdown, especially in containment zones."
Without naming Brazil, he says a Prime Minister was fined in a country for not wearing mask. "In India too we must be as careful, whether it is the PM or ordinary citizens," he says.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi begins his speech in Hindi.
“My dear countrymen, namaskar”
“We are entering Unlock 2, in our combat against the Coronavirus pandemic. We are also entering the season where fever, cold etc is common. I request you all to take extra care."
"It is a truth that looking at the mortality rates of coronavirus across the the world, we are still better off due to early lockdown," Mr. Modi says.