In a bid to ease the hardships that the poor may face on account of the lockdown necessitated by the coronavirus outbreak, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday announced that all ration card holding families in the state will get an assistance of Rs one thousand each.
According to the Chief Ministers Office, on March 23 the aforesaid assistance was announced only for families falling under urban local bodies or panchayats at block headquarters.
However, after a fresh review of the situation it was decided that the facility be extended to all families with a ration card and that the money be transferred into respective accounts through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system.
Notably, Kumar had announced a statewide lockdown on March 22 last which was to remain effective till March 31. However, the restrictions have tightened further in the wake of the three-week-long nationwide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the previous night.
Bihar is home to more than 100 million people, a large proportion of them poor and dependent on the unorganized sector for livelihood and, thereby, vulnerable to economic distress in times when normal business remains suspended. The state has reported four confirmed coronavirus cases so far, out of whom one died on Saturday last.