NEW DELHI: Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced a comprehensive Rs 1.7 lakh crore package to deal with the impact of deadly coronavirus outbreak. The benefits of the economic package will be released through direct cash transfers and food security measures aimed at giving relief to millions of poor hit by the nationwide lockdown in the country.
Here are the top updates from the finance minister’s briefing:
Workers – like nurses, paramedics and sanitation staff – who are in the frontline of the war against the disease, will be provided medical insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh per person.
Under Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, 80 crore ration card holders will get 5 kg of wheat/rice per person will be given for next three months in addition to the 5 kg which is already given; 1 kg of pulse per household.
As many as 20 crore women Jan Dhan account holders will get ex-gratia amount of Rs 500 per month for next three months to run their households.
Beneficiaries of Ujjwala LPG scheme will get free gas cylinders for the next three months. This is expected to benefit 8.3 crore BPL (below poverty line) families.
The daily wage under MNREGA has been increased to Rs 202 a day from Rs 182, benefiting 5 crore workers who stand to gain about Rs 2,000 in all.
The limit of collateral-free loans to 63 lakh women self-held groups has been doubled to Rs 20 lakh, thereby impacting 7 crore households.
Farmers, who get Rs 6,000 annually under PM-Kisan, will get first installment of Rs 2,000 in addition and it will be given immediately in the first week of April.
Ex-gratia Rs 1,000 (to be given in two instalment) to widow, poor widows, ‘divyang’ and senior citizens for the next three months.
Government to pay EPF contribution (both employer and employee) for next three month for those establishments which have up to a 100 employees and 90% employees earning less than Rs 15,000. Workers can withdraw up to 75% from the PF funds (non-refundable advance) or three months of wages (whichever is lower).
Welfare fund of Rs 31,000 crore for construction workers can be used by 3.5 crore registered workers.
District mineral fund can be utilised for mineral workers.