Punjab CM writes to PM to extend PMGKAY benefit for 6 more months to support needy amid COVID crisis

Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], June 14 (ANI): Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to extend the benefits under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) for another six months, in view of the COVID-19 crisis, to facilitate free wheat and pulses to the beneficiaries of National Food Security Act (NFSA).

In a letter, Captain Amarinder said the extension would go a "long way" in ensuring that the poor and the needy do not sleep hungry, and also enable them to make both ends meet, urging Modi to advise the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India, accordingly.

Underlining the need to further extend the benefit, the CM pointed out that with three months into the lockdown, the economic situation of the people, especially the poor, had not "improved" much even after resumption of industrial activities in Punjab.

"Of the 2.60 lakh industrial units in the state, more than 2.32 lakh units had resumed operations, but the loss of wages over the past few months had severely crippled the purchasing power of the people, especially the poor NFSA beneficiaries," Singh said.

Further, the number of COVID-19 cases was also seeing a steep upward trend daily after relaxations, and further lockdown and restrictions could not be ruled out, said the Chief Minister, adding that extension of PMGKAY for six months would be of immense help to the needy NFSA beneficiaries in these trying times. (ANI)