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Rs 1.76 lakh crore package for poor: Highlights of the Nirmala Sitharaman presser

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New Delhi, Mar 26: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a Rs 1.76 lakh crore relief package for the poor today.

An insurance scheme for the health workers was also announced by the Finance Minister. Let us take a look at all the announcements made by the Finance Minister today.

Nirmala Sitharaman

Insurance scheme for health workers fighting COVID-19 in Government Hospitals and Health Care Centres:

  • Safai karamcharis, ward-boys, nurses, paramedics, technicians, doctors and specialists and other health would be covered by a Special insurance Scheme.
  • Any health professional who while treating Covid-19 patients or meets with some accident, then he/she would be compensated with an amount of Rs 50 lakh under the scheme.
  • All government health centres, wellness centres and hospitals of Centre as well as States would be covered under this scheme and approximately 22 lakh health workers would be provided insurance cover to fight this pandemic.

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan yojana

  • Each farmer would be given Rs 2000 during the month of April 2020.
  • It would cover 8.7 crore farmers and Rs 16000 crores would be distributed to them.

Cash transfers Under PM Garib Kalyan Yojana:

  • A total of Rs 20.40 crores PMJDY women account-holders would be given an ex-gratia of Rs.500 per month for next three months.
  • For this purpose, the Government of India will spend Rs 31,000 crore.

Gas cylinders

  • Under PM Garib Kalyan yojana, gas cylinders, free of cost, would be provided to 8 crore poor families for the next three months.
  • Three gas cylinders would be provided during this period.
  • Rs.13,000 crores would be provided for this purpose.

Low wage earners in organised sectors:

  • Wage-earners below Rs.15,000 per month in businesses having less than 100 workers are at risk of losing their employment.
  • Under this package, government proposes to pay 24 per cent of their monthly wages into their PF accounts for next three months.
  • This would prevent disruption in their employment.
  • Rs 5,000 crores is being provided for this purpose.
  • Support for senior citizens (above 60 years), widows and Divyang:
  • There are around 3 crore aged widows and people under the Divyang category who are vulnerable due to economic disruption caused by COVID-19.
  • Government will give them Rs 1,000 to tide over difficulties during next three months.
  • Rs 3,000 crores has been provided for this purpose under the PM Garib Kalyan Package.

PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana

  • Government of India would not allow anybody, especially any poor family, to suffer on account of non-availability of food grains due to disruption in the next three months.
  • 80 crore individuals, i.e, roughly two-thirds of India's population would be covered under this scheme.
  • Each one of them would be provided double of their current entitlement over next three months.
  • This would be free of cost.
  • GOI will bear entire expenditure of Rs 40,000 crores spent for this purpose.
  • Pulses:
  • To ensure adequate availability of protein to all the above mentioned individuals, one kg per family, of pulse like moong, toor, chana, urad would be provided for next three months.
  • These pulses would be provided free of cost by the government of India.
  • GOI will be spending Rs.5,000 crores for this purpose.

MNREGA:

  • Under PM Garib Kalyan Yojana, MNREGA wages would be increased by Rs 20 with effect from 1 April, 2020.
  • This will benefit approximately 13.62 crore families.
  • Approximately, Rs 5,600 Crores will be spent for this purpose.

Organised sector :

  • Employees' Provident Fund Regulations will be amended to include pandemic as the reason to allow non-recoverable advance of 75 percent of the amount or three months of the wages, whichever is lower, from their accounts.
  • Families of four crore workers registered under EPF can take benefit of this window.

Self-Help groups :

  • Women organised through 63 lakhs Self Help Groups(SHGs) support 6.85 crore households.
  • Limit of collateral free lending would be increased from Rs 10 to Rs 20 lakhs.
  • This will help them by additional credit availability.

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