Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and made two suggestions amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis in the country. Talking about "food insecurity" in the nation, Gandhi said that no one should face hunger.
"I welcome your decision to provide free of cost, 5kg grain/person in addition to the entitlements under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) from April-June, 2020. However, given the adverse impact of the lockdown and its prolonged impact of people's livelihoods, I write to you to consider a few suggestions," she said in the letter.
Sonia said that the provision of 10 kg grains/person to NFSA beneficiaries must be extended for an additional period of 3 months i.e. till September, 2020. "Given the chronic economic distress faced by these beneficiaries, the food entitlements may be provided free of cost," she added.
In her second suggestion, Sonia Gandhi advocated providing of 10 kg grains/person free of cost for a period of six months to those facing food insecurity but not holding ration cards. "I would like to bring to your notice that all migrant labour who have been facing acute distress may not be holding NFSA ration cards. In addition, many deserving people have been excluded from the NFSA lists," she mentioned in the letter.
Gandhi said that these measures were "critical to safeguard people against food inflation, at a juncture where supply chain disruptions are causingprice rise." Furthermore, the release of food grains to the states as suggested will help create storage space with Food Corporation of India (FCI) to ramp up Rabi season procurement of wheat and rice, she said.