New Delhi: Interacting with beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana in Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday (August 3) said that free ration reduces the distress of the poor and gives them confidence.
Addressing the beneficiaries of the scheme through video conferencing, PM Modi said that free ration has been made available to more than 80 crore people during the COVID-19 pandemic with an expenditure of over Rs 2 lakh crore.
The prime minister said that the poor should feel that “whatever might be the calamity, the country is with him.”
Modi hailed the government’s efforts in combating poverty and providing cheap food to the poor. He lauded the use of technology for effective delivery system of the government’s programmes.
He pointed out that after independence, almost every government talked about providing cheap food to the poor but despite the scope and budget of cheap ration schemes kept increasing year after year, the effect it should have had remained limited.
“The country's food stocks kept increasing, but starvation and malnutrition did not decrease in that proportion. One major reason for this was the lack of an effective delivery system. To change this situation work was started afresh after 2014,” said Modi.
He said, using new technology, crores of fake beneficiaries were weeded out of the system and ration cards were linked to Aadhar cards.
“This helped in ensuring that no citizen went hungry despite the biggest calamity of the century when livelihood was threatened and business suffered due to lockdown,” he added.
“No poor will sleep hungry,” said the PM, adding, the scheme is going to continue till Diwali.