New Delhi:
The Government of India is set to provide free food grains under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY) for the month of May and June 2021. Under the PMGKAY, 5 kg free food grains will be provided to the poor for the month of the next two months. Around 80 crore beneficiaries will get free food grains under this scheme, the government said.

It added that in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's commitment to the poor, the Centre has decided to provide free food grains to 80 crore beneficiaries, on the same pattern as last year's PM Garib Kalyan Yojana.

PM Modi stressed that it is important that the poor of the country have nutritional support when the country is facing the second wave of coronavirus.

The Government of India would spend more than Rs 26,000 crore on this initiative. This government's initiative comes as India has seen a record surge in COVID-19 cases in the past few days. India recorded 3,32,730 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the highest single-day spike since the pandemic broke out last year. India has crossed the mark of 3 lakh COVID-19 cases for two consecutive days now.

This has taken the cumulative count of the COVID infection in the country to 1,62,63,695. 

The stringent mobility curbs and lockdowns put across key Indian cities will dent the economic momentum and will result in an economic loss of Rs 1.5 trillion, suggests a report by the economic wing of State Bank of India (SBI).

“Total loss is estimated at Rs 1.5 trillion, of which Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan account for 80 per cent. Maharashtra alone accounts for 54 per cent,” said Soumya Kanti Ghosh, group chief economic adviser, SBI.