In her second press conference in a week, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced relief packages for the poor and the daily wage workers. This comes after there was immense pressure from the opposition parties.
In a much-anticipated press conference, Nirmala Sitharaman announced a string of packages, relief packages, to take the poor of the nation into confidence in the country’s fight against the novel coronavirus outbreak. In her last press briefing, the Finance Minister had said that the economic packages are being worked on.
Here is the list of economic relief to the nation:
- ASHA workers, doctors, sanitary workers, and para-medics fighting on the frontline to receive 50 lakh insurance cover.
- Under the PM Gareeb Kalyan Scheme worth 1.7 lakh crore, the needy families to receive 5 kilograms of rice or wheat and 1 kilogram of pulses depending on the regional preference for the next 3 months.
- 69 crore farmers to receive a direct cash transfer of Rs 2,000 in the first week of April.
- For the next three months, Women Jan Dhan account holders to receive Rs 500 in their accounts to take of their households.
- Ujjwala Scheme Women to receive free cylinders for the next three months aiming to benefit 8.3 crore BPL families.
- Under the National Rural Livelihood Mission Scheme, collateral loans to be doubled to Rs 20 lakh for women.
- Under PM Gareeb Kalyan, govt will pay the EPF contribution for both employer and employee for the next 3 months. This is for establishments with up to 100 employees where 90 percent earn less than Rs 15,000 per month. This is aiming to benefit 4.8 crore workers.
- Workers’ welfare fund of Rs 31,000 crore to be utilized for construction workers. State governments to help 3.5 crores, construction workers. ‘
- State governments directed to utilize the district mineral funds for coronavirus testing and medicines.
Announcing the relief packages, the Finance Minister said that the packages are designed to address the immediate need for food, money and cooking gas in the country. While the announcement of this would put a load on banks, the Finance Ministry clarified that the Banks will continue to function and will be exempted from the lockdown. The lockdown is expected to continue until the 14th of April.