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COVID-19: FM announces 1.7 lakh crore credits relief package for poor

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The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced  a relief package of Rs 1,70,000 crore aimed at protecting the poor during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Addressing a press conference—–her second public interaction in three days—-, she announced the package under the “Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Scheme”. This will also include a 50 lakh rupees per person insurance cover for all the doctors, paramedics and health care workers who are trying to contain the Coronavirus outbreak.

The Finance Minister said that, “The Government has been working so that those affected directly and particularly the poor, the migrant workers, the women, the disadvantaged of the society, since the lockdown commenced will have to be reached out with tangible help and assistance.”

The Finance Minister also announced “Prime Minister Gramin Kalyan Ann Yojna” in which 80 crore poor people will get 5 kg of wheat/rice for free, over and above the 5 kg that they are getting, for the next three months. 1 kg of pulse will also be given for every household.

The FM also made the following announcements for the welfare of the people under different Yojnas and Schemes:

  • The Farmers who get Rs. 6000 annually will get Rs. 2000 in the beginning of the year, ie., in the first few weeks of April.
  • Daily wage of the workers under MNREGA will increase from Rs. 182 to Rs. 202.
  • Poor old age people, widows and divyangs will get ex-gratia one time amount of Rs. 1000.
  • Women who are Jandhan Account Holder will get ex-gratia amount of 500 per month for the next three months.
  • The people who are covered under Ujjwala Scheme will get free gas cylinders for the next three months.
  • Self-help groups which under the Deen Dayal Yojna get upto 10 lakh collateral free loan, will be given upto Rs. 20 lakh collateral free loan.
  • For organised sector workers, the Government of India will pay the EPF contribution, both of employer and employee for the next three months, this is for all those establishment who have more than 100 employees out of which 90 percent are getting less than Rs. 15000 per month. EPF Scheme Regulation will be amended to allow non refundable withdrawal of 75 percent of the amount standing to the credit of a member or withdraw three months of wages, whichever is lower.
  • The state government will be directed to use the Welfare Fund formed under the Central Government Act to provide support to the construction workers registered under the Welfare Fund to prevent against any economic disruption.
  • The state govt will also be directed to use the District Mineral Funds for supplementing and augmenting all kinds of medical testing activities, screening activities and other such requirements which are so necessary to fight the Coronavirus.

-India Legal Bureau

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