India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announces an economic package of INR 1.70 lakh crore, with special measures to help migrant workers and the poor amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Among other measures, the FM announced INR 50 lakh per person insurance cover for doctors, paramedic, healthcare workers dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.
Here are some of the highlights of the package:
- Under the PM Garib Anna Yojna the poor will get 5 kg grains per person per month for the next three months for free as well as one kg of pulses for each household for free. This will be over and above the current 5 kg they get under National Food Security Act (NFSA)
- 80 crore poor people to get 5 kg wheat or rice and 1 kg of preferred pulses for free every month for the next three months
- Ex-gratia amount of INR 1,000 to be given to 3 crore poor senior citizens, poor widows and poor disabled
- State governments to be requested to use the District Mineral Fund to augment medical testing and screening and providing health attention
- State governments to use funds of INR 31,000 crore for the welfare of the 3.5 crore registered building and construction workers
- 4.8 crore registered workers with the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation can withdraw 3 months’ wages or 75% of their PF, whichever is lower as a non-refundable advance
- Government of India to pay employer and employee provident fund contributions (12%+12% of salary = 24%) for the next three months for all those organisations with over 100 employees with 90% earning below INR 15,000 per month
- Collateral-free loan doubled to INR 20 lakh for the 63 lakh women’s self-help groups
- 20 crore women who are Jan Dhan Yojana account holders to get INR 500 per month for the next three months
- Govt to front-load INR 2,000 paid to farmers in first week of April under existing PM Kishan Yojana
Increase in MNREGA wage from INR 182 to INR 202 a day