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Amid Covid, PM extends free ration scheme for 800 mn people till Diwali

n this time of the pandemic, the government is standing by the poor with every need, as their partner, says PM

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Coronavirus | Coronavirus Vaccine

Agencies  |  New Delhi 

PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the nation on coronavirus situation and vaccination policy

In his address to the nation on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said government has decided to extend Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana till Diwali. 800 million poor people will be provided free ration, under the scheme, he said.

"Today the government has decided that the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana will now be extended till Diwali. In this time of the pandemic, the government is standing by the poor with every need, as their partner. By November, free food grains will be available in fixed quantity every month to more than 80 crore countrymen," said PM Modi.

Modi also announced that the central government will provide free vaccine to states for inoculation of all above the age of 18 from June 21, and asserted that vaccine supply would be increased significantly in the country in coming days.

The Centre has decided to buy 75 per cent of jabs from vaccine makers, including 25 per cent of the state quota, and give it for free to state governments, the prime minister said in an address to the nation.

Modi said private sector hospitals can continue to procure 25 per cent of vaccines, but their service charge would be capped at Rs 150 per dose over fixed price of the vaccine.

As several states take cautious steps towards unlocking and easing of restrictions with a decline in COVID-19 cases, the prime minister said vaccination is like a protection shield against the virus and asserted that vaccine supply would be increased significantly in India in coming days.

Modi said seven companies are producing various vaccines against the in the country and trial of three more vaccines is at an advanced stage.

The process of procuring vaccines from companies of other countries has also been expedited, the prime minister said.

Amid concerns expressed by experts recently over children being affected by the virus, Modi said that in this direction trials of two vaccines are being carried out.

Modi said research is continuing on a nasal spray vaccine which, if successful, can significantly boost India's vaccination drive, he said.

Asserting that vaccines are like a protection shield against the virus, he also asserted that with the efforts made in the country recently, vaccine supply would be increased significantly in India in coming days.

India proved its mettle by making two made-in-India COVID-19 vaccines in a short time and over 23 crore doses have already been administered, the prime minister said.

Modi asserted that efforts are being made on a war-footing to fight the COVID-19 pandemic at various levels and production of essential medicines was ramped up.

India is fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic on multiple fronts and new health infrastructure has been created across country, he asserted.

India has gone through a lot of pain during this battle and many lost their loved ones, he noted and extended his condolences to the bereaved families.

Modi has addressed the nation a number of times since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, offering suggestions to people and outlining measures his government has been taking to deal with the situation.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mon, June 07 2021. 18:22 IST
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