FM announces Rs 1.7 lakh crore package to deal with COVID-19 impact

Finance Minister, Nirmala Sithraman, COVID19, News, Mobile
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Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced a package worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore for farmers, MREGA workers, poor widows, pensioners/divyang, Jan Dhan Yojana (women who have accounts), Ujjwala Scheme, self-help groups, organised sector workers, construction workers and district mineral fund. The package was announced in the wake of the coronavirus crisis in the country.

India announces mega welfare package worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore to deal with Corona economic impact. Here are the key details:

• Under PM Gareeb Kalyan Scheme, a slew of measures, have been announced.
1. Government to provide medical Insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh per person for sanitation workers, paramedics, nurses, doctors who are putting themselves to risk. 20 lakh people to benefit.
2. Over and above existing 5 kg of foodgrain, 5 kg wheat or rice to be given for free for the next 3 three months. 80 crore people to benefit. 1 kg of preferred pulse for each household will also be given.

• Cash Transfers
1. 8.70 crore farmers to get Rs 2000 in their accounts in April.
2. MNREGA wages being increased. Will result in additional income of Rs 2000 per worker. Would benefit 5 crore workers.
3. One time ex-gratia amount of Rs 1,000 to be given via Direct Benefit Transfer to poor senior citizens, poor widows and poor Divyang citizens. Expected to benefit 3 crore people.
4. 20 crore women Jan Dhan account holders will get Rs 500 per month for next three months to run their households.
5. 8 crore Ujjwala scheme beneficiaries: For 3 months, they will be provided free LPG cylinders. Expected to benefit 3.8 crore BPL families.
6. Collateral free loans doubled from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh for 63 lakh Self Help Groups. Will impact 7 crore families.

• Decisions for organized sector
1. GoI will pay the EPF contribution both of the Employer and Employee (12 percent each) for the next 3 months so that nobody suffers because of loss of continuity. This is for establishments which have upto 100 employees and where 90 percent employees earn less than Rs 15,000 per month as wage. 80 lakh employees, 4 lakh establishments to benefit.

• The Employees Provident Fund: Scheme regulations will be amended to allow withdrawal of 75 percent of their money or three months’ salary, whichever is lower. 4.8 crore workers to benefit.

• For Construction Workers: States to be directed to use Rs 31,000 crore fund for helping those facing economic disruption. Around 3.5 crore construction workers to benefit.

Utilizing the district mineral funds: State governments asked to use the district mineral fund so that medical screening, medical testing doesn’t suffer.

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