Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], November 21 (ANI): Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to consider an extension of additional allocation of rice at least for next eight months under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) for distribution among beneficiaries under NFSA till COVID-19 pandemic situation improves and complete normalcy is restored in the state.
In his letter to PM Modi, Patnaik said, "I would like to convey my sincere thanks for providing seven months rice free of cost under 'Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana' (PMGKAY) for distribution to NFSA beneficiaries in the state from May 2021 to November 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic period. Provision of food grains free of cost to people at this critical juncture ensured that not a single needy and vulnerable person was deprived of food grains during the pandemic."
"The effect of COVID-19 has not waned away yet completely despite a fast-paced vaccination drive undertaken across the state as cases of new infection continue to surface. Also, other economic activities are yet to reach the pre-pandemic level as a result of which people still struggle to lead a normal life with sustainable means of livelihood. Under the prevailing situations, it is felt highly necessary that the government must provide relief to the vulnerable during these critical hours," his letter stated.
"Since adequate food grains are available at present with the government, I would request you to kindly consider an extension of additional allocation of rice at least for the next eight months under PMGKAY for distribution among the beneficiaries under NFSA till the pandemic situation improve and complete normalcy is restored in the state of Odisha," it added.
Earlier this month, All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Sougata Roy also wrote to the Prime Minister requesting him to extend PMGKAY for the next six months.
In pursuance of the pro-poor measures under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package as part of the economic response to COVID-19, the Government of India launched scheme PMGKAY for additional allocation of foodgrains from the Central Pool at Rs 5 kg per person per month free of cost for all the beneficiaries covered under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) and NFSA, Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Households (PHH) including those covered under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT). (ANI)