Finance Minister announces Rs.1.7 lakh crore relief package for poor
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced relief package worth Rs. 1.7 lakh crore for poor and daily wagers to combat the economic impact of the nationwide lockdown till April 15 due to Coronavirus outbreak. The package includes a mix of food security and cash benefits in view to provide shield to the poor households.
Finance Minister in her announcement said that 5 kg rice or wheat and 1 kg pulse will be distributed for free under PM Garib Kalyan Package, while free LPG cylinders will be distributed for the next 3 months to the beneficiaries of Ujjwala Yojana with immediate effect.
She also said that health insurance cover of Rs.50 lakh will be given to every healthcare worker for the next three months. More than 3 crore senior citizens and women will be given an additional Rs.1000 under Divyang Scheme in two installments through DBT over a period of 3 months.
The government also announced that 20 crore Jan Dhan Account holders (women) will get an ex-gratia of Rs.500 per month for the next 3 months. In addition, self help group women can apply for collateral-free loans up to Rs.20 lakhs.
FM Sitharaman also dedicated relief package of Rs.3.5 crore for building and construction workers. Over 8.69 crore farmers will be benefitted through direct cash transfers of Rs.2000. She mentioned that the funds will be credited to the farmer’s registered bank accounts in the first week of April.
Every MNREGA worker will get a salary hike of Rs.2000 to benefit 5 crore households, said Sitharaman. She also announced that the EPF accounts of employees, having monthly salary of up to Rs.15000, will be credited from the government’s relief fund for next 3 months. This will benefit both the employee and the employer.Notably, India has reported over 650 positive Covid-19 cases with total 13 casualties.
Nirmala Sitharaman concluded the press briefing saying that the government is also considering to benefit other sectors as well and soon the announcements will be made in this regard.