CPI (M) demands continuation of free rice supply scheme

“It is unacceptable in the interest of the people,” distribution of rice under NFSA with PMGKY should be continued till the pandemic is over.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Manipur demanded continuation of distribution of rice under NFSA with PMGKY free of coast to the beneficiaries till the pandemic is over. 

In a statement, the CPI(M) pointed out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had, on June 7, announced that the PMGKY would be extended till November this year to benefit 80 crore people of the country. 

According to the scheme, the government distributes an additional five kg of rice/wheat with one kg of pulses per month per person to the beneficiaries. Now, the government announced that the NFSA card holders are getting free five kg of rice/wheat with one kg of pulses per month per person only till November. 

Literally, the government is stopping NFSA till November. That means the quantity of May and June will be decreased to half. 

“It is unacceptable in the interest of the people,” the CPI(M) asserted and demanded that NFSA with PMGKY should be continued till the pandemic is over. “The Modi government has been forced to withdraw its faulty and disastrous liberalized vaccine policy in the face of strong opposition, pushback from states and Supreme Court’s criticism of it”, it alleged. 

The Centre has had to accept the demand for free vaccines for all citizens. People will reject the condemnable effort by the Prime Minister, through his national broadcast, to level false charges against state governments and shift the responsibility to them. 

The “liberalised vaccine policy” was a unilateral decision of the central government. However, the failed vaccine policy has not been fully reversed. 

The government has, however, chosen to continue the dual pricing policy. As much as 25 percent of vaccine production is still reserved for the private sector. 

“This is nothing but a license for loot by private manufacturers to make super profits,” the CPI-M alleged. 

Further, at a time of acute vaccine shortage, the continuation of such a policy will dilute and weaken the need for universal vaccination essential to prevent a third wave of the coronavirus, it stated. 

Only the rich can afford the exorbitant pricing of vaccines for the private hospitals permitted by the government, it asserted and demanded the withdrawal of the 25 per cent reservation for the private sector. 

The Central government must procure all the vaccines manufactured in India and bought globally and distribute it to states in consultation with them, the CPI-M demanded.

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