Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh has urged PM Narendra Modi to extend the benefits under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) for another six months due to the Covid-19 crisis, to facilitate free wheat and pulses to the beneficiaries of National Food Security Act (NFSA).
In a letter to the PM, Capt Amarinder said that this would go a long way in ensuring that the poor do not sleep hungry. The CM urged Modi to advise the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution accordingly.
Noting that the earlier announcement of PMGKAY provided major relief to poor NFSA beneficiaries, the CM said that the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of COVID has not only slowed down the economy but also led to a major reduction in the incomes and savings of the people.
Underlining the need to continue it, the CM pointed out that the economic situation of the poor has not improved much even after resumption of industrial activities in Punjab. Of the 2.60 lakh industrial units in the state, over 2.32 lakh units have resumed operations, but the loss of wages over the past few months has crippled the purchasing power of the people, especially the NFSA beneficiaries, he said. Further, the number of COVID-19 cases is also seeing a steep upward trend daily after relaxations and further lockdown and restrictions could not be ruled out, the CM said.