The Assam Government has decided to provide free rice to around 58 lakh BPL families of the state amid ongoing 21-day nationwide necessitated by Coronavirus scare.

The decision was taken in a cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Monday. From April 1, the 58 lakh households will be provided with free rice which they paid Rs. 1 per kg. Poor households with National Food Security Act (NFSA) and ration card will also receive a one-time financial assistance of Rs. 1,000.

“In the Gaon Panchayats with not more than 5 thousand population, 100 poor households who do not have NFSA or ration cards will be given one-time financial assistance of Rs. 1,000. On the other hand, 150 such households in the panchayats with 5,000-10,000 population will receive the assistance. In panchayats with more than 10,000 population, 200 families will get the one-time assistance,” said minister Chandra Mohan Patowary after the meeting.

On the other hand, 250 families without NFSA or ration cards in every ward of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) will receive the benefit. Similarly, 100 poor households in every ward under municipal boards and town committees will be provided with one-time financial assistance of Rs. 1,000.

The cabinet meeting also decided to provide Rs. 1,000 each to 2.78 lakh construction workers across Assam.

The cabinet meeting further decided to allow authorities of food processing industries and tea gardens to approach deputy commissioners (DC) of respective districts to resume operations from April 1.