The Mizoram government has distributed free ration to over 1.5 lakh families under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) to tackle food crisis during the coronavirus induced lockdown, state food, civil supplies and consumer affairs minister K Lalrinliana said on Tuesday.

Replying to a question from lone BJP legislator Dr B.D Chakma on the first day of the 3-day Assembly session, Lalrinliana said altogether 1,55,558 families of Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Households (PHH) were provided free rations under the PMGKY for four months from April to July.

He said that the government would also distribute free rations for another four months from August to November.

Though the coronavirus outbreak has affected the state, there is enough stock of rice as of now, he added.

In March, the Centre had announced a relief package of Rs 170,000 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana according to which beneficiaries will be given 5kg of rice and 1kg of lentils per person to tackle the economic impact of coronavirus induced lockdown on the poor.

In June, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had extended the scheme till the end of November this year.

According to an official of state food, civil supplies and consumer affairs department, the Centre had allocated more than 10,000 tonnes of rice to Mizoram to be distributed during Covid-19 period.

She said that there are more than 1,29,000 PHH cardholders and over 25,900 AAY cardholders in the state to avail the benefit.

There are more than 76,600 people who availed rice through ration cards from the PDS as AAY members and over 6.17 lakh people as PHH members, she said.

The official also added that thousands of migrant workers and state residents, who did not avail free rations, were also provided free rice during the lockdown.

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