NEW DELHI: The Centre on Thursday (March 26, 2020 ) announced a Rs 170,000 crore worth of financial package to protect the weaker sections of the society from the economic fallout of deadly coronavirus COVID-19, which has claimed the lives of over 21,000 people acros the globe. Announcing the relief package, the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, ”A package is ready for the poor who need immediate help like migrant workers and urban and rural poor. No one will go hungry. The package is worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore.”
The Rs 1,70,000-crore scheme, dubbed the “Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan scheme” will “address the concerns of poor, migrant workers and those who need help”, she said. The FM also announced Rs 50 lakh per person insurance cover for doctors, paramedic and healthcare workers dealing with coronavirus outbreak. The PM Garib Kalyan Yojana will benefit migrant workers and rural poor and the women. The FM said the scheme will work via direct cash transfer, as one set of measures, while another set will include food security-related measures.
“We do not want anyone to remain hungry, so we will be giving enough to take care of their foodgrain requirement, protein requirement in terms of pulses,” the FM said as she announced the Rs 1.7 lakh crore relief. “On the other hand, they should also not remain without money in hand. So several measures through DBT are being taken so that money reaches them so that they can have money in their hands.”
Here are the top announcements made by the FM:
Women Self Help Group
Self Help women groups (7 crore houses holds covered), collateral-free loans doubled to 20 Lakh, to increase money in hand.
DBT Cash transfers
1)Farmers,MGNREGA, Poor widows, Pensioners&divyangs covered
2) Jan Dhan Yojna accounts,Ujjwala scheme,Self help group women dealing with DDU livelihood missions,EPFO organised workers covered
3)Construction workers&district mineral workers covered
Ujjawala scheme near 8.3 crore BPL families covered in this, so that no running short of cooking medium, for 3 months free cylinders.
20 crore Jan Dhan Women account holders covered- Ex gratia amount of Rs 500 per month for the next three months.
Old age and divyang
Old age, Divyang, pensioners: 3 crore people covered, one-time amount of additional Rs 1000 in two installments through DBT (hence no middlemen) over 3 months to be given.
Wage increase in MGNREGA- 5 crore families benefited, an increase of Rs 2000 per worker on average as additional income.
8.69 crore farmers to be immediately benefited through Direct cash transfers. Installment of Rs 2000 in the first week of April will be transferred.
Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Ann Yojna
Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Ann Yojna(for next 3 months):80 cr poor ppl covered(2/3rd of India’s population), in addition to already allotted 5Kg of rice/wheat per person,an additional 5kg will be free. Additional 1kg pulse (acc to regional preference) will be given.
There will be Rs 50 lakh insurance per health care worker as a medical insurance cover for them for three months.
A package is ready for the poor who need immediate help like migrant workers and urban and rural poor. The package is worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore.
Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF)
Govt of India will pay the Employees’ Provident Fund(EPF) contribution, both of employer and employee, put together it will be 24%, this will be for next 3 months.
This is for those establishments which have upto 100 employees and 90% of them earn less that 15,000.
Govt ready to amend the regulation of EPF due to this pandemic so that workers can draw upto 75% non-refundable advance from credit in PF account or 3 months salary, whichever is lower.
It will benefit 4.8 crore workers.
District Mineral Fund
District Mineral Fund: Central Govt to request State Govts to use this fund to augment medical testing and screening and providing health attention.
Welfare for building and construction workers, registered 3.5 crore workers to be benefited, Central Govt has given orders to State Govts to use Rs 31,000 crore fund to provide relief.