Direct cash transfers for women, Senior Citizens in FM Sitharaman’s Rs 1.7 lakh crore Coronavirus relief package

Prime News, Nation, (New Delhi), March 26:-Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced an economic package worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore to help migrant workers, labourers, poor and agricultural workers deal with the impact of coronavirus outbreak and the nationwide lockdown imposed to stop the spread of the disease.

Sitharaman said the package comes into effect immediately and has been made to reaching out to the most vulnerable sections of the society who are most in need of immediate help because of the economic disruption. The move comes two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a 21-day nationwide lockdown.

Top points from the FM’s announcement:

– Insurance for health and sanitation workers worth Rs 50 lakh per person. Approximately 20 lakh workers to be benefited.

– Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana in which 80 crore poor people will get 5 kg per person rice/wheat each month for the next 3 months in addition to 5kg of rice/wheat that they already get. Besides, 1kg of pulse according to regional preference for each household.

– First instalment of PM KISAN to be transferred immediately. The instalment of Rs 2,000 to be transferred to accounts in the first week of April. Around 8.3 crore farmers to get benefit out of this.

– MGNREGA wages to be increased from Rs 182 to Rs 202. This will benefit 5 crore families.

– Women Jan Dhan Account Holders will get an ex-gratia amount of Rs 500 per month in cash transfers for the next 3 months. This will benefit 20.5 crore women.

– People above the age of 60, poor widows, poor and old divyang to get ex-gratia Rs 1,000 in two instalments over the next three months. This will benefit 3 crore people.

– 8.3 crore BPL Ujjwala Yojana beneficiaries will be given free cylinders for the next three months.

– Collateral-free loans to 63 lakh Women Self-Help Groups to be doubled from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh. This will put immediate money in the hands of 7 crore households.

– For the organized sector, government will pay the EPF contribution both of the employer and employee (12% each) for the next 3 months. This is only for those establishments which have up to 100 employees, where 90 percent of employees earning less than Rs 15000 per month.

– EPF scheme regulation will be amended to allow non refundable advance to 75 percent of the amount standing to the credit or 3 months wages whichever is lower. This will benefit 4.8 crore workers.

– For construction workers, welfare fund for building and construction workers currently having Rs 31 thousand crore will be used. This will benefit 3.5 crore registered workers.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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