India’s Modi extends free foodgrain programme for poor battling COVID-19

MUMBAI: The Indian government will extend a free foodgrain distribution scheme for 800 million people amid the ongoing pandemic until the end of November, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a national address on Tuesday (Jun 30).

Modi said thousands of lives have been saved because of the nationwide lockdowns in place since Mar 25 and urged citizens to continue to follow social distancing norms as the country restarts economic activity.

Modi said the foodgrain scheme will cost the government an additional 900 billion Indian rupees (US$11.91 billion), taking the total spend on the same to 1.5 trillion rupees.

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