Covid-19 Relief Package: Highlights of Nirmala Sitharaman's RS 1.7 lakh Worth Relief PackageThangaraja Palaniappan (Author) Published Date : Mar 27, 2020 09:30 IST
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announces a relief package of Rs 170000 crore:
The country is tiding over the difficulties created by the COVID-19, and as a relief measure, the government has aided Rs 1.7 lakh crore worth relief package to the poor to tackle the financial difficulties. The relief package mainly will be focused on migrant laborers and daily wagers.
"No one will go hungry, and the package is ready to serve the rural and urban poor," said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The package includes a mix of food security and direct cash transfer. Under the Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKY), which is a part of the relief package, close to 80 crore people, will be benefitted. This implies more than 60% of India's population is poor.
Under this scheme, an additional 5kg wheat/rice would be provided to 80 crore people over the 5kg they already receive along with one-kilo pulse per household for a period of three months. The outlay for this measure would be Rs 45000 crore.
The health care workers would be given Rs 50 lakh insurance cover for three months. With this special insurance scheme, Ward boys, Cleaners, Nurses, Paramedics, Technicians, Doctors, and Specialists will be covered. Direct cash transfer will be done to senior citizens, widows, farmers, and daily wage laborers. 8.69 crore farmers will be benefitted, and the initial tranche would happen in the first week of April.
For daily wage laborers, an additional income of Rs 2000 would be provided. Senior citizens, widows, and disabled would get Rs 1000 as a one-time payment in two installments. Also, 20 crore Jan Dhan women would be covered under this relief measure, and Rs 500 will be transferred to their accounts respectively for the next three months.
Above all, the government takes care of EPF for both employer and employee provided the establishment has up to 100 employees, and 90% of them earn less than Rs 15000. This benefits 4.8 crore employees. A very good initiative that the workers can withdraw a non-refundable 75% from the EPF account or three months' salary, whichever is lower.
Since last week the government was expected to roll out some relief measures, and finally, it is on the table to benefit the poor who are trying to counter the COVID 19 financial losses. Also, to highlight for the first time, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has given an appreciation for the financial assistance provided by the government. He said, "India owes a debt to farmers, daily wage earners, laborers, women and elderly who are bearing the brunt of the ongoing lockdown."