Thursday, 09 April, 2020

Coronavirus impact: Centre to provide Rs 170000 crore relief package

5 kg wheat or rice free for 3 months: Finance Minister Coronavirus impact: Centre to provide Rs 170000 crore relief package
Ginger Lawrence | 26 March, 2020, 13:55

In a bid to cushion the blows of the coronavirus-induced lockdown across the country, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced a medical insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh per person for frontline healthcare workers dealing with the menace of COVID-19. The economic package includes measures for direct cash transfers to various sections of society, free LPG gas cylinders to poor households, insurance for frontline workers and several other measures.

"On the other hand, they should also not remain without money in hand".

Each one in the Pradhan Manthri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana to get 5Kg (rice/wheat) each month for the next three months, over and above the 5Kg which is being already granted under the scheme. FM Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled a new scheme called the Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Yojana worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore.

Farmers will get the first instalment of the PM-KISAN payment of Rs 2,000 soon. ThHe beneficiaries will get the free ration over and above the their monthly quota of 5 kg food grains per month, which has been increased to 7 Kg a month for next three months by the cabinet on Wednesday. The increase in MNREGA wage will be to Rs 202 a day from Rs 182.

Poor senior citizens, poor widows, and the disabled will get an ex-gratia one-time amount of Rs 1,000 in two installments through DBT (hence no middlemen) over three months.

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The finance minister also said that the government of India will pay the Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) contribution, both of employer and employee, put together 24% of an employee's basis salary, for next 3 months. The existing benefit of Rs 10 lakh collateral-free loan under the Deen Dhayal scheme thus doubled.

To ensure adequate availability of protein to all the above mentioned individuals, one kg per family, of pulse like moong, toor, chana, urad would be provided for next three months.

This will be transferred in their account by the first week of April. It will benefit 3 crore such people, the FM added. The move will benefit 70 million households.

Addressing the media amid the 21-day coronavirus nation-wide lockdown, Sitharaman said that this scheme will be available for establishments which have upto 100 employees and 90 per cent of them earn less that 15,000.

"20 crore woman Jan Dhan account holders to be given ex-gratia amount of 500 rupees per month for the next three months, to run the affairs of their household", she said.