Kohima, July 2: Nagaland state BJP unit on Thursday welcomed the announcement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to extend Padhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKY) for a further period of five months to distribute free ration to 80 crore people across the country.
Addressing a press conference in the State BJP Headquarters here, State BJP president and Minister for Higher & Technical Education and Tribal Affairs, Temjen Imna Along said the extension of PMGKY is a great relief for the poor during current Coronavirus crisis as each member of a poor family without or without ration card will get 5 kgs of wheat or rice and a kilogram of gram every month for another five months.
Even Nagaland is benefitting a lot through this free rice, as almost every village in the State is getting this ration, he said. Nonetheless, the BJP president did not have details of the State’s share of the ration and also the number of beneficiaries as well as ration card holders in the State.
Quoting Modi, Along said 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 5 kg rice or wheat and 1 kg Gram every month to the poor, he said.
“The free distribution of food grains to 80 crore people in India could feed 2.5 times the US population, 12 times the UK population and, twice the European Union’s population. This is the magnitude and magnamity of our nation,” he said.
He said that Modi government had announced an additional allocation in the world’s largest food security scheme- PMGKY – earlier this year, which aimed to ensure sufficient foods with the poor and needy amid the Coronavirus crisis.
The foodgrains were 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 foodgrains and 1 kg Gram per month for a period of three months between April and June this year, which has now been extended for five more months.
Stating that Modi has given credit to the farmers and tax payers for enabling the Centre to provide free foodgrains 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.
Further quoting Modi’s address saying “we will further expand the economic activities, pledge to work towards Aatmanirbhar Bharat (Self- Reliant India), to be vocal for local work”, 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 are always been dependent on many 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.
The BJP president also highlighted on other schemes, including Rs. 31,000 crore transferred to almost 20 crore poor families in Jan Dhan accounts in the last three months, Rs. 18,000 crore to bank accounts over 9 crore farmers in the country, launching of PM Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan to provide employment of Shramiks (returnees) in rural areas and the central government is spending Rs. 50,000 crore.
Under the leadership of Modi, the country is also moving towards “One Nation, One Ration Card” for benefit of the poor who travel to other states in search of work, Along added.
Nagaland BJP vice president Changse Sangtam and general secretary Khevishe Sema were also present during the press conference. (Page News Service)