Extend Free Food Grains Provision for 3 Months: Sonia Gandhi to PM
“Nearly 3 months since the country went into lockdown, millions of Indians are at risk of slipping into poverty.”
With the lockdown having dealt a severe blow to the economy, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday, 22 June, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking the central government to consider extending the provision for free food grains to the poor for a period of three months – from July to September 2020.
"Nearly three months since the country went into a strict lockdown, millions of Indians are at risk of slipping into poverty. The adverse impact on livelihoods has led to chronic food insecurity for both, our urban and rural poor. In light of the current situation, food entitlements must be expanded to address the hunger crisis facing some of the most vulnerable people in the country," Gandhi said in her letter.
She also called for temporary ration cards to be issued to all poor households, saying that significant number of them continue to be excluded from the PDS system.
The Congress chief has raised questions about the lockdown and the government's COVID-19 response several times in the last three months. Last week, she had also written to PM Modi on the recent hike in prices of petrol and diesel.
The nationwide lockdown, which lasted for more than two months, dealt a severe blow to the economy. Thousands of migrant workers, left without jobs, were forced to go back to their homes, sometimes walking hundreds of kilometres in the absence of any transport. To alleviate the impact on the economy, the government had announced the 'Atmanirbhar Garib Kalyan' package, but the Opposition criticised it for not being enough to tackle the crisis.
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