As the nation fights the deadly COVID-19 and things have come to a standstill government came in with ‘relief package’. This comes after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman came up with relief measures earlier this week.
On Thursday the Finance Minister (FM) announced a host of measures which were majorly targeted at the ‘poor’. From cash transfer to EPFO contributions there were several things on cards. Here is the full list of announcements:
- 80 crore poor people would get 5 kg of rice/wheat per person for free in addition to allotted 5 kg plus additional 1 kg pulses, based on their regional preference for next 3 months.
- ₹50 lakh per person insurance for doctors, nurses and healthcare workers who are exposing themselves to the coronavirus for the next 3 months. 20 lakh workers will receive the benefit of this move.
- Farmers to get Rs 2,000 from PM Kisan yojana. The first installment would be paid by the 1st week of April.
- EPF contribution of select employers (12%) and employees (12%) to be paid by the government. Applicable for establishments that have up to 100 employees out of which 90% of employees draw less than ₹15,000 per month.
- Workers’ welfare fund of ₹31,000 crores will be used to help 3.5 crores, construction workers.
- Women Jan Dhan account holders: Ex-gratia of Rs 500 per month for the next three months. This will benefit 20 crore women.
- District mineral funds to be utilized for coronavirus testing and medicines.
- MNREGA: Increase in wage rate from Rs 182 to Rs 202 amounting to increase of Rs 2000 per worker leading to benefitting 5 crore people.
- Old age/widows: An ex-gratia amount of Rs 1,000 for the next 3 months available in two installments. It will benefit 3 crore widows and senior citizens.
- Women Ujjawala scheme beneficiaries: For three months, free cylinders. Will benefit 8.3 crore BPL families.
- EPFO regulation will be amended so that workers can draw up to 75% for their contingency expenditure non-refundable advance or three months of wages in advance whichever is less. This will benefit 4.8 cr workers.
Another package for the industry is expected in the times to come. Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) lobby group, had sought a stimulus of about 1% of the GDP that is Rs 2 lakh crore. Further, a 3 months moratorium on all loan and suspension of all repayment obligations the said period is demanded. The Economic Taskforce chaired by FM is already announced by the PM.