Free ration for 72 lakh card holders for next 2 months

New Delhi, May 4 (FN Agency) Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday announced that the Delhi government will provide free ration to all the 72 lakh ration card holders of the National Capital for the next two months. He also announced that the Delhi government will provide financial assistance of Rs 5,000 to every auto and taxi driver of Delhi. The government had done the same last time, helping 1.56 lakh such drivers, Mr Kejriwal said.

Mr Kejriwal said that one must not consider that the lockdown will last for the next two months based on the free ration decision, but that the lockdown was imposed to contain the spread of COVID. He expressed hope that the crisis will end soon. ‘To deal with coronavirus, we have imposed a lockdown in Delhi, and this was essential to curtail the number of cases and to break the chain. We’re well aware that during any lockdown creates a financial crisis for people, and especially for the poor. It hits the daily wage workers particularly hard, following which it becomes difficult for them to run their homes,’ Mr Kejriwal said while addressing a digital press conference.

‘Today we have taken two major decisions. Firstly, free ration will be provided to the around 72 lakh ration card holders of Delhi for the next two months. Having said that, one should not assume that the lockdown will continue for the next two months. Let us hope that the cases begin to decrease and the lockdown is lifted early. However, to help the poor through a financial crisis, the government has decided that for the next two months, free ration will be distributed to all ration card holders,’ the Delhi Chief Minister said. He said all autorickshaw drivers and taxi drivers too, are seeing some tough times, as their homes would run on their daily wages. Some do not have much savings too, and with the lockdown of the past few weeks, their daily earnings have depleted completely, Mr Kejriwal said.

‘Just as last year, when the lockdown was imposed, all of Delhi’s auto drivers and taxi drivers were given Rs 5000 each by the Delhi Government. Today, we’re extending the same financial assistance to all the auto drivers and taxi drivers to help them during this financial adversity,’ the Delhi Chief Minister said. Mr Kejriwal said, ‘I will not say that this will help them with what they were earning earlier on an everyday basis, but I hope this offers some help. Last year also, we provided assistance to approximately 1,56,000 such drivers and this time too, the Delhi Government will provide support.’ The lockdown in the National Capital was extended till May 10 following a sharp rise in number of fresh Covid-19 cases in the city.