The Centre has decided to extend the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) till November, a move that will help 80 crore people continue to get a predetermined amount of free foodgrains every month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Monday.

In his address to the nation, the Prime Minister announced the government’s decision to extend the scheme till Diwali.

In this time of pandemic, the government is standing with the poor in their every need as their partner. That is, free food grains will be available in fixed quantity every month to more than 80 crore countrymen till November,” PM Modi said in this address.

In April, the Centre had announced distribution of free foodgrains for the months of May and June under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY).

According to the Food Ministry, about 80 lakh metric tonnes of foodgrains will be distributed during May and June this year and the Centre will bear the full cost of the scheme — about Rs 26,000 Crore.

Harsh Pati Singhania, Director – JK Organisation and VC and MD of JK Paper said, “Government’s move to extend free ration to 80 crore people till Diwali is a positive move, which will help the people and enable them to conserve savings and spend on other necessities thereby creating demand and stimulating the economy.”

T V Narendran, President, CII, said, “CII’s concern and advocacy regarding protecting the poor from loss of livelihoods has been addressed by the Prime Minister’s announcement of extending the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana until November 2021 to ensure free food grains to weaker sections of society.”

“Today, under the guidance of the respected Prime Minister, the decision of the central government to carry forward the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana till Deepawali fulfills the mantra ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’. Heartfelt gratitude to the Prime Minister on behalf of all the beneficiaries of Uttar Pradesh,” Adityanath tweeted in Hindi.

“No poor citizen will sleep hungry in this country, even under these tough circumstances. Showing sensitivity under the leadership of @narendramodiJi, the central government has extended the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana till Diwali. This decision is commendable,” Chouhan also posted on Twitter.