On Wednesday, the Union Minister Prakash Javdekar attended a press conference and announced that for wheat and rice would be provided at a subsidized price for people under below poverty line. The benefit comes as a relaxation to the poor who have suffered the most during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
As India struggles through Week 3 of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Modi addressed the nation on the 24th of March and ordered the complete lockdown of the country with only essential services operating. Because of the outbreak, the slowing economy had already been dented but with the announcement of lockdown, people feared to lose their jobs. The worst-hit are the daily wage workers. While the Prime Minister was lauded for his speech and bold step, there were criticisms of not announcing any relief package to the poor.
Concession Rates for the Poor
The information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javdekar addressed the media on Wednesday announcing a string of schemes that included a package that would provide relief to the poor. Speaking on the package, Mr. Javdekar announced that below belonging to the below poverty line category would be provided Wheat and Rice at a subsidized rate.
Wheat that cost 27 rupees per kilogram will be provided at a rate of 2 rupees per kilogram. Similarly, Rice that is at 37 will be made available at 3 rupees per kilogram. The concessional rates will only apply to people under the poverty line and will be valid for a period of 3 months.
Apart from that, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday and approved 1,340 crore rupees funds to recapitalize the rural banks in order to improve their capital to risk-weighted assets ratio. The Cabinet has approved 670 crore rupees for the same as the center’s contribution.
The Cabinet also approved the Aligarh-Harduaganj railway flyover of length 22 kilometers. According to Javdekar, the project is likely to be completed in five years. Mr. Javdekar also mentioned that the Cabinet has approved the extension of the scheme for a rebate of state and central taxes from April 1st until the scheme emerges with remission of duties and taxes on exported products.