Addressing the media on Tuesday, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee announced that the poor would be provided free ration in the state till June 2021. This statement came minutes after PM Modi declared the extension of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana to the end of November 2020. When asked about the extension of the PMGKAY, she refused to comment citing that she was busy in a Cabinet meeting.
Mentioning that the lockdown would be strengthened in containment areas, she appealed to the people to continue wearing masks. She mentioned that people can go out for morning walks from 5.30 am to 8.30 am. Banerjee informed the reporters that the state government had requested the Centre to stop domestic flights from COVID-19 hotspots and allow the resumption of Metro Rail at least for essential services. In another important directive, the WB CM revealed that all private buses will be operational. Currently, there are 17,907 confirmed novel coronavirus cases in the state out of which 11,719 patients have been discharged while 653 fatalities have been reported.
I am extending free ration for poor till June 2021: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee pic.twitter.com/voJlqfwUuc— ANI (@ANI) June 30, 2020
Earlier in the day, PM Modi observed that over 80 crore persons shall get 5 kg of rice or wheat free of cost in the months of July, August, September, October and November. Furthermore, every eligible household under the scheme shall be entitled to 1 kg of channa per month. The PM noted that more than Rs.90,000 crore would be allocated additionally for this expansion of this scheme. He thanked the farmers and the hardworking taxpayers for facilitating this assistance to the poor. Incidentally, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on June 22 had demanded the extension of distribution of free foodgrains to the poor till September.
PM Modi remarked, "The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana would be extended till Diwali and Chhat Puja, i.e till the end of November. This implies that this scheme giving free ration to over 80 crore people will be applicable even in the months of July, August, September, October and November. The government will provide more than 80 crore people with 5 kg wheat or rice. Moreover, every household shall be given 1 kg channa free of cost. More than Rs.90,000 crore will be spent on the expansion of this scheme."