STATE TIMES NEWS New Delhi: The Centre on Thursday asked the states and union territories to take all necessary steps for the smooth disbursement of Rs 27,500 crore to beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PM-GKY) through banks from Friday, amid the ongoing lockdown to combat the coronavirus threat. In a letter to all chief secretaries, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said money will be disbursed under the PM-GKY package to a large number of beneficiaries beginning Friday. In this regard, the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, has given detailed guidelines such as staggering of account holders to avoid crowding and maintaining social distancing, publicising the modalities of staggering and cash distribution and provision of adequate security personnel at bank branches and business correspondents (BCS) to maintain law and order and social distancing, reads the letter. “The concerned departments of the state government/ UT administration, district authorities and field agencies may please be informed on the above for strict compliance. “They shall take all necessary measures to ensure smooth disbursal of money to the beneficiaries of PM-GKY,” Bhalla said. On Tuesday, Bhalla had asked the states and UTs to ensure smooth functioning of banks and ATMs for the disbursement of the PM-GKY funds. Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba had also asked the states to implement the PM-GKY within next week. The 21-day nationwide lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister will share a video message with people tomorrow amid a nationwide lockdown to combat the coronavirus outbreak. “At 9 AM tomorrow morning, I’ll share a small video message with my fellow Indians,” the prime minister tweeted, without divulging the subject of his message.
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