The Indian government has rolled out a 1.7 trillion rupees relief package to limit the economic damage caused by coronavirus and tackle the loss of livelihood of millions of people that are hit by the 21 days nationwide lockdown.
This financial aid for those in need amounts to about one percent of the nation’s GDP. It comes in a newly framed Prime Minister’s ‘Garib Kalyan Yojana’, aims to alleviate the financial pain faced by migrant workers, farmers and women.
Bringing economic activities to a halt, under the guidance of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, they have announced the economic relief help. The Indian government will give money in the hands of the people who need it immediately, through direct benefit transfer.
Coming to the main highlights of the ‘Garib Kalyan Yojana’, a medical insurance cover of Rs. 50 lakh will be given to every health professional in the county. Around 800 million people will get five kg of wheat or rice and one kg of pulses per month for free for the next three months.
Under the PM Kisan scheme, farmers’ accounts will see a transfer of Rs. 2,000. The regular wages under MGNREGA are hiked from Rs 182 to Rs 202 per day. In two installments over the next three months, an amount of one thousand will be transferred to the accounts of the eligible senior citizens, widows and handicapped.
With this economic relief package, women from a poor economic background will also benefit. A one-time transfer of Rs 500 will be made per month over the next three months to their Jan Dhan accounts. Women from BPL families will be provided with free cooking gas cylinders for three months under the Ujjwala scheme. Collateral free loans provided to women self-help groups has also been doubled to Rs 20 lakhs.
Addressing the concerns of the organized sector workers, the Indian government will also bear the cost of the provident fund contributions, both of the employer and employees that stands at 12% each for the next three months. Only if the company has upto 100 employees and 90% of which are earning less than Rs 15,000. In the provident fund scheme regulation, the non-refundable advance is amended to 75% for contingency expenditures.
Lastly, Nirmala Sitharaman has directed the state governments to use Rs 31,000 crores each from their existing welfare fund reserves to provide assistance to construction workers and protect them from economic disruption. Also, the district mineral funds will be used for testing and screening of people for coronavirus.
Highlights of Rs 1.70 Lakh Crore relief package under #PradhanMantriGaribKalyanYojana for the poor to help them fight the battle against #COVID19 announced by Finance Minister Smt. @nsitharaman today.#IndiaFightsCorona
For more details: https://t.co/GBJK6FcmLI pic.twitter.com/ZKO3Sl679D
— Ministry of Finance (@FinMinIndia) March 26, 2020