New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday (June 30) addressed the nation as India gears up to enter Unlock 2.0 from July 1 against COVID-19 crisis. This was PM Modi’s sixth address to the nation since the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
“This time of festivals also increases needs and expenses. Keeping all these things in mind, it has been decided that the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana should now be extended till Diwali and Chhath Puja, that is, by the end of November,” PM Modi said.
“More than Rs 90,000 crore will be spent in this expansion of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana. If you add the expenses of the last three months to it, then it becomes almost one and a half lakh crore rupees,” he added during the virtual address.
“Hardworking farmers and honest taxpayers” have helped push the government’s food scheme as he thanked them for their efforts. “Today, if the government is able to provide free food grains to the poor and the needy, the credit goes to two sections. First, the hardworking farmers of our country and second, the honest taxpayers… I thank you from my heart.”
The Prime Minister and the government along with the people will push economic activities keeping all precautions in mind and be vocal for local to make India self-reliant.
“With this resolve, we 130 crore countrymen have to work together with the resolution to work and move forward. Once again I pray for you and urge all of you to be healthy, keep following the two-yard rule, use gamchhas and mask always. Do not be careless.”
Modi once again stressed about following rules like wearing masks and following social distancing norms and said nobody is above rules. The Prime Minister said a timely lockdown and other decisions saved many lives but people have been negligent in their personal and social behaviour since Unlock 1.
“Earlier, we were very cautious about masks, maintaining a two-yard distance, washing hands several times a day for 20 seconds,” he said.
“The rules were followed very seriously during the lockdown. Now governments, local body entities, citizens of the country need to show the same vigilance again,” he added.
India reported 18,522 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, slightly lower than Sunday’s record of 19,906, according to the Union health ministry Tuesday (June 30).
India is behind only the United States, Brazil and Russia in total cases with more than 566,000 infections. More than 16,800 people have died in the country so far.
Meanwhile, the Congress on Tuesday targeted PM Modi for his address to the nation, saying it lacked substance and could just “have been another government notification”. The party also said the prime minister is too afraid to talk about China in his national address.
However, the party acknowledged the PM’s announcement to extend the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana scheme till November end, saying the government heeded to Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s advice to extend the provisions of providing free food to the poor.
Ahead of his address, PM Modi chaired a high-level meeting to review the preparations for vaccination against COVID-19 as and when a vaccine is available. Modi had last addressed the nation on May 12 when he had announced Rs 20 lakh crore financial package to boost the economy.