Coronavirus impact: Centre to provide Rs 170000 crore relief package

Andrew Cummings
March 26, 2020

Meanwhile, sources told CNBC-TV18 that additional food grain off-take under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana will cost the government Rs 38,000 crore starting FY21 under food subsidy out of the total package of 1.70 lakh crore announced.

She said, "The government has been working so that does affected directly, particularly the poor and the disadvantaged be reached out to". "We are looking both at cash transfers as well as food security measures", Sitharaman said.

The government has made a decision to provide a temporary three-month insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh for all frontline Covid health staff, including doctors, paramedics and health care workers.

Safai karamcharis, ward-boys, nurses, paramedics, technicians, doctors and specialists and other health would be covered by this special insurance scheme.

Also, the beneficiaries of Ujjwala LPG scheme will get free cooking gas for the next three months, she said. This will benefit 400,000 such organisations and 8 million such employees.

For 20 crore women who have bank accounts under the existing Jan Dhan Yojana, the minister announced an ex gratia amount of Rs 500 per month for the next three months to run household affairs. Around 8.69 crore farmers will benefit immediately through this, she said.

"Wage increase under MNREGA scheme will benefit 5 crore families".

This will help them by additional credit availability.

For instance, Sitharaman says that India's farmers will get the first PM Kisan instalment of Rs 2,000 in April 2020. This will benefit 5 crore families.

The Finance Minister also clarified regarding who will be benefitted from PMGKAY.

The Centre will also contribute 24 per cent towards EPF for firms with more than 100 employees for the next three month.

For women who are part of Self Help Groups (SHGs), the government is doubling the collateral-free loans given under Deen Dayal Yojana to Rs 20 lakh.

Sitharaman also announced that the government amend the Provident Fund (PF) schemes regulation to allow withdrawal of non-refundable advance of up to 75 per cent of the amount or three months' wages, whichever is lower.

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.

By a central government Act, there is a welfare fund of Rs 31,000 crore for building and other construction workers, which has 3.5 crore registered workers.

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