Nagaland state BJP unit president Temjen Imna Along (c) along with party officials on Thursday

Kohima: Welcoming the Prime Minister’s extension of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana till November-end, Nagaland BJP on Thursday said that extension of the free ration scheme has come as a “great relief for Nagaland”.

Addressing a presser at its office in Kohima, State BJP president Temjen Imna Along lauded the premier’s move in extending the scheme for five more months. While saying that the move will benefit all Indians, including the people of Nagaland, who are poor and needy, he said it is “a great relief” for Nagaland as it is also “struggling as a state” due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He added that both ration card holders and those without ration cards will also benefit from the scheme as it is targeted for the poor section of the society.

He then highlighted that the government of India will incur an additional expenditure of Rs 90,000 crore to provide 5kg rice or wheat for each member of the family along with 1kg pulse per family for every month to the poor families. As the free distribution of foodgrains will benefit 80 crore people in the country, he said that this extension has taken the total amount to Rs 1.5 lakh crore.

With the additional allocation in the world’s largest food security scheme—PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, India will feed 2.5 times the US population, 12 times the UK population, and twice the European Union’s population.

While the scheme has benefited a lot of people from Nagaland, he mentioned that through the scheme, the state government through the district administrations have been providing dry ration relief to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Mentioning the pledge taken to work towards Aatmanirbhar Bharat, he said that the PDA government headed by the chief minister is pursuing to be “vocal for local” further adding that local products and works should be taken seriously and produce it efficiently.

In addition, Rs 1.75 lakh crore package under the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana also aims to provide food to those in need during lockdown and that Rs 31,000 crore has been transferred to almost 20 crore poor families in Jan Dhan accounts in the past three months and Rs 18,000 crore transferred to bank accounts of over 9 crore farmers.

Along quoted the premier as saying, “If the government today is able to provide free grains to the poor and needy today them the credit goes to two sections of people. The first are our hardworking farmers, our food providers and the second are the honest taxpayers of the country”. He also acknowledged the tax payers from the state of Nagaland.

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