Center announces Rs 1.7 lakh crore relief package for poor

By Nehru.T Mar. 26, 2020, 08:30 pm IST
Center announces Rs 1.7 lakh crore relief package for poor

Cash transfer and food security for common man

The union government of India has understood the vows of the poor due to complete lock-down and announced some relief packages. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced a slew of measures to deal with the economic distress caused due to the corona-virus pandemic and the subsequent lock-down announced to deal with the situation.

Rs 1.7 lakh crore would be spent on both cash transfer and food security.

Provide insurance cover worth Rs 50 lakh for sanitation workers, ASHA workers, doctors, nurses, paramedics in case they need it as they are on the frontlines of the corona battle. Over and above 5kg of rice/wheat that is already given, another 5 kg per person will be given free to around 80 crore people through PDS. Besides, one kg of preferred and region specific choice of pulse will also be given.

Direct cash transfer

Farmers: First instalment of Rs 2,000 of PM Kisan will be given in first week of April. 8.69 cr farmers will get immediate benefit out of it.

MNREGA: Increase in wage rate from Rs 182 to Rs 202 amounting to increase of Rs 2000 per worker leading to benefiting 5 crore people.

Old age/widows: An ex-Gratia amount of Rs 1,000 for next three months available in two installments. It will benefit 3 crore widows and senior citizens.

Women Jan Dhan account holders: Ex-Gratia of Rs 500 per month for next three months. This will benefit 20 crore women.

Women Ujjawala scheme beneficiaries: For three months, free cylinders. Will benefit 8.3 crore BPL families.

Women Self Help Groups: Under the Deen Dayal National Livelihood Mission, collateral free loan will be given up to Rs 20 lakh from Rs 10 lakh earlier. Impact on 7 crore holders through 63 lakh SHGs.

Organised sector: Government of India will pay the EPF contribution both of the employer and the employee put together 24% for next three months. This is for those establishments with up to 100 employees, 90% of them earning less than Rs 15,000.

For organised sector, EPFO regulation will be amended so that workers can draw up to 75% for their contingency expenditure non-refundable advance or three months of wages in advance whichever is less. This will benefit 4.8 cr workers.

Construction workers: State government have been directed to use the welfare fund for building & construction laborers which has around Rs 31,000 crore to help those who are facing economic disruption because of the lock-down.

Utilise the funds available under the district mineral fund for testing activities, medical screening, providing health attention needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

It is expected that another relief package for the industry will come up soon. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) lobby group, had sought a stimulus of about 1% of the GDP or Rs 2 lakh crore, has sought a three-month moratorium on all loans and said all repayment obligations should be suspended for this period.

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