Published: Thu, March 26, 2020
Markets | By Otis Pena

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

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

With the coronavirus lockdown hitting the Indian industry hard and causing job losses, Sitharaman had said an economic package to help tide over the crisis will be announced very soon.

In what could be a big announcement for Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) subscribers, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced that the government will contribute 24 per cent Provident Fund (PF) for the next three months.

The FM announced that frontline workers including doctors, paramedical staff, ASHA workers, and sanitation workers will get an insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh per head.

This is part of a slew of measures announced by the finance minister under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package on March 26 to deal for health workers, labourers, people below the poverty line and daily-wage earners under the scheme. This is expected to benefit 3 crore people.

Under NFSA, the government provides 5 kg of food grains per person at subsidised rates.

A total of Rs 20.40 crores PMJDY women account-holders would be given an ex-gratia of Rs.500 per month for next three months.

The Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan Yojana (Food Scheme) to provide 80 crore people, 5 kg of wheat/rice in addition to what they are getting.

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To ensure adequate availability of protein, individuals will also get one kg of any one variety of preferred and region-specific choice of pulse per household for the next three months for free.

Farmers will get the first instalment of the PM-KISAN payment of Rs 2,000 soon. The government will be spending Rs 5,000 crore for the goal. The government will be spending approximately Rs 5,600 crore for this.

A government document said that any health professional who while treating COVID-19 patients meets with some accident, then he/she would be compensated with an amount of Rs 50 lakh under the scheme.

The finance minister's proposal will enable employees to withdraw up to 75% of the PF balances limited to 3 months wages as non refundable advance enhancing liquidity of employees, she said. This scheme will be applicable for organisation with up to 100 employees, where 90 per cent of employees draw less than Rs 15,000 salary.

Women in self-help groups: 6.3 million self help groups (SHGs) get up to Rs 10 lakh collateral-free loans under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya National Rural Mission scheme.

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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