Relief to people: Delhi govt extends free ration scheme for underprivileged for another six months
The period of free ration supply had ended but the Delhi Government is extending it for another six months, according to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
People of Delhi will now be provided with free ration from December 1, 2021 to May 31, 2022, he said on Monday.
The underprivileged of Delhi have been receiving free ration ever since the pandemic struck and people get free ration through their ration cards, he siad.
“The pandemic is still prevalent throughout the whole country including Delhi. Everyone has been affected by corona in some way and due to this many people have become unemployed. At the same time, the earnings of the common man have also reduced significantly and people have not been able to recover from this situation yet. On the other hand, inflation is rapidly increasing day by day and food prices are skyrocketing. The Central Government has not announced the extension of the free ration scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana beyond November 30 yet. In such a situation, the Kejriwal Government of Delhi has taken a firm stand and extended the initiative of free ration for another six months. 72.77 lakh people will benefit from the free ration initiative of the Kejriwal government,” said the government.
In this regard, Kejriwal addressed a press conference today and said: “The Delhi Cabinet has taken another important decision today. Ever since the pandemic struck Delhi, we have been giving free ration to the people of Delhi. Those who come to get their ration from the ration card are given free ration. The period of giving free ration is getting over and thus is being extended further for six months. Now the facility of giving free ration to the people of Delhi has been extended till 31st May.”
Kejriwal had written a letter to the Prime Minister earlier in November. Stressing upon the need of the hour, Kejriwal had stated in his letter, “during the Covid period, the Central Government had given free ration to every ration card holder across the country in addition to the ration that was being made available every month. The Delhi Government made the monthly ration supply free from its own end.”
The CM had further written: “Due to these steps of the Central Government and Delhi Government, the poor got a lot of relief during the pandemic. These schemes of both the governments are ending in November. The Central Government has announced that this scheme will not be extended after November. There is backbreaking inflation in the country at this time. The common man is finding it difficult to get two square meals. Many people lost their jobs during the Corona period. They have no means of earning. In such a situation, I request you that the Central Government further extend this scheme of giving additional free ration to the people for six more months. The Delhi Government is extending the scheme from its own end to provide people free additional ration for six months. It will be very kind of you to do the same as well.”
A Cabinet meeting was held on 5 October 2021 under the chairmanship of Kejriwal. Keeping in mind the needs of non-PDS poor families, migrant workers and economically weaker people, it was proposed to further provide free ration till the Covid-19 pandemic continues.
Earlier, in a cabinet meeting held under the leadership of Kejriwal on 25 May 2021, it was decided to give free ration to such needy people.
As per the eligibility prescribed under the NFS Act 2013, 5 kg of food grains were given free of cost to the needy people including migrant workers, unorganised workers, construction workers, domestic helpers and those who do not have ration cards. This includes 4 kg of wheat and 1 kg of rice per person per month.
During that time, about 20 lakh people living in Delhi benefited from this decision of the cabinet. In addition, free food grains are being provided to 72.78 lakh PDS beneficiaries under regular allocation under NFSA.
At the same time, after a decision taken by the Delhi Cabinet in October, the number of non-PDS poor beneficiaries living in Delhi has increased to about 40 lakhs. These 40 lakh non-PDS beneficiaries living in Delhi are also being provided food grains like PDS beneficiaries. According to the decision of the cabinet, ration is being given to all the needy people, including migrant workers, unorganised workers, workers engaged in building and construction work, domestic helpers, who do not have ration cards.