Coronavirus impact: Centre to provide Rs 170000 crore relief package

Daniel Fowler
March 26, 2020

The Rs 1.7 lakh crore scheme will include food security and cash transfers. India's economy, already on a downward trajectory since previous year, is set to suffer more pain as the shutdown disrupts economic activity - from airlines ailing due to travel restrictions to construction activities hitting brakes.

"The government has been working so that those affected due to the novel coronavirus since the lockdown commenced on the intervening night of 24-25 March, will be reached out".

This will help them by additional credit availability.

In what comes as a relief to the poor, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a slew of measures to help tide over the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Centre would also provide Rs 50 lac worth health insurance cover per health worker for three months.

The Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan Yojana (Food Scheme) to provide 80 crore people, 5 kg of wheat/rice in addition to what they are getting. Further 1 kg of pulses will also be given according to their regional preference. An additional 1kg pulse (acc to regional preference) will be given.

Sitharaman, earlier this week, had said a package is under works and will be announced. MNREGA wage increased to Rs 202 a day from Rs 182 to benefit 5 crore families. The government will be spending approximately Rs 5,600 crore for this.

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I n a relief for poor senior citizens, poor women and divyang people, one time ex-gratia of Rs 1,000 to be given in two installments over the next three months via direct bank transfer.

For women with Jan Dhan Yojana accounts, an ex-gratia transfer of Rs 500 will be done for the next three months. Ujjwala beneficiaries to get free cooking gas (LPG) cylinders in next three months and this will benefit 8.3 crore BPL families.

Families of four crore workers registered under EPF can take benefit of this window.

A government document said that any health professional who while treating COVID-19 patients meets with some accident, then he/she would be compensated with an amount of Rs 50 lakh under the scheme.

She said the government will contribute 12% from the employee and employer side to the PF, for firms having less than 100 employees. This will benefit 400,000 such organisations and 8 million such employees.

State governments will be directed under Buildings and Other Construction Workers' Fund to utilise an existing Rs 31,000 crore welfare fund for benefit of 3.5 crore construction workers.

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