As Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a complete pan-India 21-day lockdown till April 14, Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday announced the Central Government's schemes for the underprivileged amid the pandemic.
In an address to the media, the I&B minister stated that the Centre will provide 80 crore people every month with 7 kg ration per person at just Rs 2 which actually costs Rs 27. He added that the Centre will invest Rs 1800 crores to provide ration for 80 crore people.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Javadekar said, "The Central Government will provide 80 crore people every month with 7kg ration per person at just Rs 2 which actually costs Rs 27. Cost of rice which is Rs 33 will be provided at Rs 3 per kg. This is for 80 crore people. This is the world's largest food security system and Rs 1800 crores will be spent on it. 3 months of advance ration will be provided to the state governments."
Furthermore, he added, "As you know all workers in the Central Government will get their salaries, but the contractual labourers they will also get their salaries. Private companies have been urged to provide workers with minimum wages and the response has been good."
The I&B minister has also urged people to not believe in rumours and avoid panic. Javadekar stated that despite the lockdown, essential services and shops will remain operational. "State governments have been asked to start a helpline. The Home Ministry is also going open up their helpline today," he added.
Amid the rising Coronavirus cases in India, PM Modi on Tuesday, announced a 21-day curfew throughout India starting at midnight on Tuesday. He said that 21 days were necessary for breaking the transmission cycle of the pandemic. The 21-day curfew is applicable to all states, districts, and villages - irrespective of whether they are currently under curfew or not. Currently, India's positive cases stand over 520, with ten deaths.
"From midnight 12 across the country, there will be countrywide lockdown in India. Complete restriction of leaving out from the residence. All districts, villages will be locked down. This is curfew only -a stricter curfew than Janta curfew. We have to bear economic consequences because of this. But to save every Indian's life at this time is my and the government's responsibility," said PM Modi.