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‘1.7 Lakh Crore’ Relief Package Announced By Government, Amidst COVID-19 Crisis

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.

Also Read: This Country Would Provide Coronavirus 15-Minutes ‘Home Testing Kit’ To Citizens

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.

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