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West Bengal to give free ration till June 2021, says Mamata


KOLKATA: On a day Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced extension in free foodgrains to PMGKAY beneficiaries till November 2020, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also said her government would give free ration to people till June 2021. “We will give free ration till June 2021. The quality of ration is better than that of the Centre,” the CM said minutes after Modi’s address to the nation.

She also claimed that only 60 per cent people in the state get central ration. Earlier, the Prime Minister said the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana’s free food grain (5 kg wheat/rice per person and 1 kg gram per family) benefited 80 crore Indians since March during the countrywide lockdown. The PMGKAY — a Rs 1.7-lakh crore financial package — was announced by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to minimise the impact of the nationawide lockdown on Indian economy and the poor.

Banerjee on Tuesday claimed that banning 59 Chinese apps would not bear results. “Only banning some apps will not give results. We want to give China a befitting reply. How we do it -- the central government now has to decide,” Banerjee said.

She said if it did not happen, the people of India might question the central government’s stand on the whole issue. The West Bengal CM said: “If the central government takes any stand against China, we want it to be implemented without any exceptions.

We have to be very aggressive.” Once again clarifying her party’s stand on the issue, she said it was the Trinamool Congress’ policy to not interfere in matters involving India’s external relations and security issues.