Coronavirus impact: Centre announces Rs1.7 lakh crore package for poor

Marco Green
March 26, 2020

"The package is worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore", she said.

"The government has been working so that those affected due to the novel coronavirus since the lockdown commenced on the intervening night of 24-25 March, will be reached out".

The package will include cash transfer and food subsidy, she said.

Expressing gratitude towards health workers who are taking a huge risk everyday, the minister announced Rs 50 lakh per person as medical insurance to these worriors.

All government health centres, wellness centres and hospitals of Centre as well as States would be covered under this scheme and approximately 22 lakh health workers would be provided insurance cover to fight this pandemic.

The Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana: Under this plan, 800 million poor people in the country will get 5 kg of rice or wheat per month free of cost, in addition to the 5 kg they already get.

To ensure adequate availability of protein to all the above mentioned individuals, one kg per family, of pulse like moong, toor, chana, urad would be provided for next three months. This means that 8.69 crore farmers will get Rs 2,000 in April.

Women Jan Dhan account holders to get Rs 500 per month for the next three months.

Sitharaman also said that the Centre has made a decision to amend EPFO regulations which will benefit 4.8 crore employees. The increase in MNREGA wage will be to Rs 202 a day from Rs 182.

For farmers, the gGovernment has chose to front-load Rs 2,000 paid to 8.69 crore farmers in first week of April under the existing PM Kisan Yojana.

An insurance scheme for the health workers was also announced by the Finance Minister.

In continuation, the provident fund scheme regulations will be amended to allow non-refundable advance of 75% of the amount standing to the credit of a member, or 3 months of wages, whichever is lower.

She said the government will contribute 12% from the employee and employer side to the PF, for firms having less than 100 employees.

The Union Minister remarked that the scheme will be applicable for companies with up to 100 employees, where 90% of employees are gettting less than Rs 15,000 as salary.

Families of four crore workers registered under EPF can take benefit of this window.

Further, the state governments will be directed to utilize an existing Rs 31,000 crore welfare fund for the benefit for 3.5 crore construction workers, Sitharaman said.

Women organised through 63 lakhs Self Help Groups (SHGs) support 6.85 crore households.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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