Thu, 09 Dec 2021

New Delhi [India], November 24 (ANI): Hailing the Centre's decision to extend the free ration scheme till March 2022, Union Minister Smriti Irani on Wednesday said the move was made with a sense of duty and responsibility.

Union Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Irani on Wednesday inaugurated Indo French Chamber of Commerce and Industry's (IFCCI) third edition of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Conclave and Awards along with Ambassador of France to India Emmanuel Lenain as the Guest of Honour.

Addressing the conclave, the Union Minister said, "I come here on a day when the Prime Minister has taken the decision to extend the free ration scheme to 800 million Indians till the month of March 2022. We are the only nation that has ensured to feed 800 million fellow citizens. We did it not for a sense of piety. We did it from a sense of duty. We did it not from a sense of privilege. We did it from a sense of responsibility. So today I use this forum to say thank you fellow citizens, for standing up when your country needed you the most."The Centre on Wednesday decided to extend the 'PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana' (PMGKAY) to provide free ration till March 2022. It is a food security welfare scheme that was envisaged by the Prime Minister to provide assistance and help mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19. Under PMGKAY, 5 kg of additional food grain, per person, is given to all beneficiaries covered under National Food Security Act.

She also said that India has tackled the COVID menace very bravely and all should take pride in the same with regards to vaccination and PPE kits manufacturing.

"We are grateful for the partnerships, the investments, the cultural exchange that we have seen between India and France but the pandemic was a testimony our humanity was tested. We are a country which in 75 years of independence did not manufacture a single PPE. We had a global lock down the borders were sealed as a country that did not have the raw material, the machinery but in three months, not only we start manufacturing on our own, but we became the second-largest exporter in the world and this is Indian enterprise," stated Irani.

Ambassador Lenain highlighted the solidarity shown by French companies in India during the second wave of the pandemic adding that their efforts mirrored the help that India extended to France last year.

"Together, the French State, IFCCI and more than 50 French companies carried out an unprecedented solidarity mission, bringing 180 tonnes of liquid oxygen, several shipments of medical equipment and 29 French-made state-of-the-art oxygen generator plants that have made as many Indian hospitals oxygen-aatmanirbhar. I see healthcare as a promising new field of the Indo-French strategic partnership," Ambassador Lenain said. Around 70 CSR heads of Indo-French companies attended the event. CSR projects of top French companies in India showcased at the conclave. IFCCI recognised the companies who contributed to the successful accomplishment of the French Solidarity Mission for India's oxygen crisis, caused due to the second wave of COVID-19 at the Conclave. (ANI)

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