Kohima | July 2
Nagaland state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today welcomed the initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on extension of the Padhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) for five more months, providing free ration to 80 crore people across the country.
Highlighting the initiative of the central government through a press conference as per directive of BJP central high command, state BJP president Temjen Imna Along said that the extension of the food security scheme was a great relief for the poor during the Coronavirus crisis.
Along, who is also Minister for Higher & Technical Education said that Nagaland state has also benefitted a lot from the free rice. Almost every village in Nagaland is getting this ration, he said.
He said that PM Modi has extended PMGKAY till November- end for distributing free food grains to the poor.
He informed that the government will keep providing free food grains to the poor section of the society during the upcoming festival season till November. The central government will incur an additional expenditure of Rs 90,000 crore to provide food grains every month to the poor.
The food grains are to be distributed to all the beneficiaries under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) for Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Household (PHH) ration card holders.
The eligible individuals were to receive 5 kg of food grains and 1 kg of gram per month for a period of three months between April and June, 2020, which has now been extended for five more months.
Stating that PM Modi has given credit to the farmers and tax payers for enabling the Centre to provide free food grains during the COVID -19 phase to the poor and needy, he said “Together with Prime Minister, the state BJP leadership and the party also thank the honest tax payers elsewhere” which had made this possible.
The PM had said that during the lockdown phase, the centre had made it its priority to ensure that no one goes hungry in the country.
He said that the collective efforts of the centre, state government, and civil societies had all been aimed at ensuring that nobody goes to sleep on an empty stomach in the country.
Towards self -reliance
Reiterating PM Modi’s call for working towards a self-reliant India, Along said “This is also very relevant to Nagaland so that we may be ‘Self Reliant Nagaland’ which the PDA government under the leadership of Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio is pursuing for and also to be vocal for local.”
“We have always been dependent on products from outside. So, henceforth we should be very vocal about being able to use and also take our own local works and produce seriously,” he said.
Highlighting other schemes, Along said that Rs 31,000 crore has already been transferred to almost 20 crore poor families in Jan Dhan accounts in the last three months.
Rs 18,000 crore has already been transferred to bank accounts of over 9 crore farmers in the country.
He said that PM Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan has been launched to provide employment to migrant workers in rural areas.
He also highlighted the country’s move towards ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ for benefit of the poor who travel to other states in search of work. It means if a ration card holder in Nagaland goes to any other state in search of work or is working there, he/she can get the same facility in that state, he said.
Meanwhile, Along said that India’s COVID-19 death rate is comparatively better than many countries of the world. Timely imposition of lockdown and other decisions have saved lakhs of lives, he added.
As the fight against Coronavirus shifts to Unlock 2.0, follow regulations with same seriousness as during lockdown, especially in containment zones, Along said, conveying the PM’s appeal.
He urged everyone to remain healthy, maintain a distance of two yards, and to always use face masks.