Finance Minister Nirmana Sitharaman on Thursday announced Rs 1.7 trillion economic stimulus package to help the poor and migrants tackle the financial difficulties arising from the outbreak coronavirus pandemic and the 21-day nationwide lockdown.
Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, has infected 649 in India so far and claimed 13 lives.
Saying no one will go hungry, the finance minister announced the relief package under PM Gareeb Kalyan Scheme that will include both cash transfer and food security for 80 crore poor.
The government will also 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.The insurance cover provided to the health workers will be for three months with effect from March 25, 2020. This is expected to benefit 20 lakh health workers handling the COVID-19 crisis across India.
“There will be Rs 50 lakh insurance per health care worker as a medical insurance cover for them for three months. Hopefully, we would be able to contain the virus in this period,'' said Sitharaman.
Pradjhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana:
800 million poor people in the country to get 5 kg of rice/wheat per month free of cost, in addition to the 5 kg they already get.Additionally, each household to get 1 kg of preferred dal for free for the next three months.80 cr poor people will to get 5 kg wheat or rice and 1 kg of preferred pulses for free every month for the next three months
Cash transfer scheme
Farmers: First instalment of the PM-KISAN payment of Rs 2,000 to be frontloaded; move to benefit 87 million
MGNREG Wage increased from Rs 182 to Rs 202 per day
Wage increased from Rs 182 to Rs 202 per day. Wage increase to benefit 50 million families, as there will be about 2000 increase in their income
Relief package for poor widows, aged, and divyang
Poor widows, aged, and divyang: Ex-gratia of Rs 1,000 for the next three months, in two instalments. 30 million people to benefit. transfers to be done through direct benefits transfer (DBT)
Relief package for women with Jan Dhan Yojana accounts
Women with Jan Dhan Yojana accounts: 200 million to benefit from Rs 500 ex-gratia for the next 3 months
Relief package for women in self-help groups
Women in self-help groups: 6.3 million SHGs get up to Rs 10 lakh collateral-free loans under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya National Rural Mission scheme. The cap has been doubled to Rs 20 lakh. The move will benefit 70 million households.
Beneficiaries of the Ujjwala scheme:
80 million households benefitted from the gas cylinders provided under the scheme. These beneficiaries will get free cylinders for three months in view of the disruption the coronavirus lockdown will cause.
Organised sector workers:
The Government of India will pay the EPF contribution of both employee and employer for the next three months. This will be for all those establishments which have up to 100 employees, 90% of whom earn less than Rs 15,000 a month. This will benefit 400,000 such organisations and 8 million such employees. In what will benefit 8 million employees and 400,000 establishments, the EPFO regulation will be amended to allow the withdrawal of up to 75% of their corpus as non-refundable advance, or three months' salary, whichever is less
States have been directed to utilise the Rs 31,000 crore welfare fund for building and construction workers for the benefit of 35 million workers in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.
District mineral fund: State govts to be urged to utilise this fund for medical screening, medical testing and providing health care services in the wake of the coronavirus crisis
India has entered Day 2 of the 21-day nationwide lockdown over the highly contagious Covid-19, which has infected 649 in the country. The coronavirus pandemic, which has so far claimed 21,200 lives globally and infected 471,363.
The finance minister had already announced some measures on Tuesday that included extension of tax deadlines, easing minimum balance norms for savings account, and increasing threshold of insolvency filing to Rs one crore from Rs one lakh.