New Delhi [India], June 22 (ANI): Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging the government to extend the provision of free foodgrains for a period of three months till September 2020 for priority households, beneficiaries of Antyodaya Anna Yojana and migrants not covered under any central or state PDS scheme.
She said millions of Indians are at risk of slipping into poverty nearly three months since the country went into a strict lockdown to contain coronavirus and food entitlements must be expanded to address the "hunger crisis" being faced by the vulnerable sections.
"The adverse impact on livelihoods has led to chronic food insecurity for both, our urban and rural poor. In light of the current situation, food entitlements must be expanded to address the hunger crisis facing some of the most vulnerable people in the country," she said.
Gandhi said that the provision for the supply of 5 kg free food grains/person/month to Antyodaya Anna Yojana and priority households under the National Food Security Act from April to June, 2020, in addition to regular entitlements was announced at the beginning of the lockdown.
She said the government also announced free foodgrains of 5kg per person per month for migrants not covered under any central or state PDS scheme for May and June.
"The Union Government must consider extending the provision for free foodgrains for a further period of three months i.e. from July-September 2020. Several states have requested for the same. Furthermore, since a significant number of poor households continue to be excluded from the PDS system, temporary ration cards must be issued to all such households," she said.
Gandhi hoped that the decisions will be announced at the earliest.
The country is in Unlock 1 phase after four phases of lockdown as part of measures to contain COVID-19.(ANI)