Following the stringent implementation of announced nation-wide lockdown to fight against the deadly world-wide pandemic ‘COVID-19’, Gujarat is also executing the total lockdown, Mr. Ashwini Kumar, Secretary to Chief Minister, told media persons in Gandhinagar, today.
Giving further details in this reference, Mr. Ashwini Kumar said that in the currently prevalent situation Chief Minister Mr. Vijaybhai Rupani has taken several important decisions today with a view to give financial support to small milk producers and pastoralists (animal breeders) of rural areas and also employees of private industries and traders of Gujarat.
He said, the Chief Minister has a taken decision that in the present situation the small milk producers, who are not members, can also deposit their milk and milk produces with primary milk cooperative societies. In this reference, the District Milk Producers Association and Federations have also been instructed to accept the milk and milk produces quota purchased from non-members milk producers by the primary milk cooperative societies.
He further added that the Chief Minister has specifically and firmly instructed to the owners, management, registered labour contractors of private industrial units, factories, and shop owners that they cannot terminate the jobs their employees and daily-wagers (labourers of unorganized sectors) in the present situation of lockdown because the trade-industry-commerce have been adversely affected. Not only this, Mr. Rupani has further instructed not to deduct the salaries or payments of these employees for the period of lockdown. To ensure implementation of his instructions, Mr. Rupani has also guided the concerned district collectors to look into the matters.
Showing softer side of his heart, the Chief Minister has also announced that the monthly pension of destitute, specially able, ‘Ganga Swaroop Mothers – Sisters (Widows) and beneficiaries of various social welfare schemes of the state government should be paid in advance for month of April so that these people don’t face any financial hardship in the present situation of the lockdown.
Gujarat has as many as 13.66 lakh such beneficiaries. A total amount of Rs. 221-crore has been deposited into the personal bank accounts of these beneficiaries through ‘Direct Beneficiary Transfer’ (DBT), Mr. Ashwini Kumar added.
The 8-lakh card holders of the state government’s Antyodaya Scheme and 58-lakh PPH ration card holders under ‘Rashtriya Anna Suraksha Dhara’ (national food security act (NFSA)) who receive foodgrains; for them the distribution of free foodgrains for the month of April has been started from the government approved ration shops from April 1, he said and added that everyday more than 20-lakh such card holders would be able to take benefits of foodgrains’ distributions.
From April 4th, under the ‘Anna Brahm Yojana’ the foodgrains would be distributed to those who are destitute, poor, homeless individuals, and those who have arrived from other states of India to Gujarat in search of bread and butter and not holding ration cards. Under the NSFA as many as 66 lakh families, approximately population of 3.25-crore people means half-of-the population of Gujarat, are going to receive foodgrains. However, those who are still left-out, if they would contact the concerned Mamlatdar offices than they will avail the benefits under the Anna Brahm Yojana, he added.
On Thursday, 47.42 lakh litre of milk was distributed in Gujarat. Similarly, 82,957 quintals of vegetables have arrived, which included 19,614 quintals of potatoes, 22,846 quintals of onions, 7,270 quintals of tomatoes, and 33,224 quintals of other green vegetables. Beside these, 13,602 quintals of fruits had arrived, which included 475 quintals of apples, 647 quintals of bananas, and 12,480 quintals of other fruits.
A well-plan arrangement has been made to ensure supply of essential commodities and day-to-day necessities of the citizens during the period of lockdown, Mr. Ashwini Kumar added.
The media briefing was also attended by Mr. Mohammed Shahid, Secretary, Food & Civil Supply.
Source: Information Department, Gujarat