LUCKNOW: In the first major decision of the Yogi Adityanath government 2.0 in Uttar Pradesh, the state cabinet decided on Saturday to extend the free ration scheme initiated during the COVID-19 pandemic by three more months.
The programme was to expire in March. A total of 15 crore people are benefiting from the programme in the state, Adityanath said.
Under the scheme, people will continue to get pulses, salt, sugar etc., along with foodgrains, for the next three months. The scheme of free ration distribution is believed to have had a tremendous impact in the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) victory in the recently-concluded Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls.
"During the COVID-19 period, the prime minister had started the Pradhan Mantri Anna Yojana for every citizen, benefitting 80 crore people of the country and 15 crore people of Uttar Pradesh. The state government had also started a scheme on its own for the 'antyodaya' beneficiaries and the eligible households from April 2020," Adityanath told reporters after the cabinet meeting.
Under the scheme, the "antyodaya" families were getting 35 kg of foodgrains and the eligible households were getting foodgrains at the rate of five kg per unit.
Along with this, the state government had also provided one kg of pulses, one kg of refined oil and one kg of iodised salt to each family, the chief minister said, adding that one kg of sugar was also being provided to the "antyodaya" families.
He said the scheme was only till March 2022 and the cabinet has decided to continue it for the next three months. The "double-engine" government has always stood by the people, Adityanath said, adding that even during the Covid period, not only free treatment, but free vaccines were also made available to them.
Deputy Chief Ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Brijesh Pathak, and cabinet ministers Suresh Kumar Khanna and Swatantra Dev Singh were also present at the press conference. After the swearing-in ceremony of the ministers on Friday, the first cabinet meeting of Adityanath's new government was held here on Saturday morning.