In an attempt to reassure people amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday announced that the state will distribute rice through the public distribution system (PDS) for free till September.
Rice was being sold at ration shops at Rs 2 per kg.
This came hours after West Bengal reported its second case of COVID-19. A 22-year-old Kolkata resident who recently returned from the UK tested positive for the infection, a state government official said.
The state government’s decision to distribute rice is expected to benefit 7.5 crore people, who will also receive wheat for free, according to a government official. The Chief Minister announced this move along with other measures at a press conference at state secretariat Nabanna.
Banerjee also alleged that her administration was not receiving help from the Centre in tackling the virus. After a video conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister said, “I asked the Prime Minister why foreign flights had not been stopped yet. He did not give any assurance but took note.”
Banerjee said international flights should be barred immediately instead of being allowed to land till March 22.
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