Mumbai, Jun 30 (PTI) Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement to extend the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) by five months till November end.

The extension of the PMGKAY, a programme to provide free ration for over 80 crore people, mostly poor, was announced by the prime minister in his televised address to the nation in afternoon.

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Thackeray had requested Modi to extend the scheme during a recent video conference meeting, the chief minister's office said in a statement.

Under the scheme, rice and chana dal are disbursed. Under the national food security scheme, nearly seven crore people will be benefited, it said.

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The scheme was rolled out for three months from April soon after the nationwide lockdown was announced to combat the COVID-19.

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