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Highlights: Financial relief package to combat COVID-19

Ex-gratia of Rs. 1,000 will be given to the elderly, widows and the disabled via the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).

Devdiscourse News Desk | New Delhi | Updated: 27-03-2020 08:54 IST | Created: 26-03-2020 14:50 IST
Highlights: Financial relief package to combat COVID-19
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Image Credit: ANI

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced today a COVID-19 relief package worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana to help the disadvantaged population such as migrant workers and urban and rural poor.

Here are the highlights of the COVID-19 relief package:

  • Frontline warriors including ASHA workers, Doctors, Nurses, Paramedics, etc will be given medical insurance of Rs 50 lakhs.
  • Over the next three months, an additional 5 kgs of rice/wheat will be provided to 80 crore people and depending on the region they will also receive 1 kg of pulses.
  • Farmers will be provided Rs 6,000 annually from PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, the first installment of which will be given as a front-loaded matter, giving immediate benefit to 8.69 crore farmers.
  • Ex-gratia of Rs. 1,000 will be given to the elderly, widows and the disabled via the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).
  • 20 crore Women Jan-Dhan account holders will get Rs 500 every month for the next three months to run their household affairs.
  • Free LPG cylinders will be given to women beneficiaries under the Ujjawala scheme for the next three months.
  • Wages under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has been hiked from Rs 182 to Rs 202. This will benefit about 5 crore people.
  • 63 women self-help groups (SHGs) under the National Rural Livelihood that get up to Rs 10 lakh collateral-free loans will get Rs 20 lakhs, impacting 7 crore households.
  • EPF contribution (both of the employee and employer) of all those establishments which have up to 100 employees and 90% of whom are earning less than Rs 15,000 per month will be paid by the government for the next 3 months. In addition, organized sector workers will be able to draw 75 percent EPF or three months of wages, whichever is lower, as a non-refundable advance for contingency purposes.
  • Center will direct states to use Rs 31,000 crore welfare fund available for building and other construction workers, which has 3.5 crore registered workers.

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