Coronavirus: FM Nirmala Sitharama announces Rs 1.7 lakh cr package for poor affected by lockdown

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Tuesday announced a 21-day lockdown in the entire country effective from midnight to deal with the spread of coronavirus, saying that “social distancing” is the only option to deal with the disease, which spreads rapidly. 

Written by March 26, 2020 13:58

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced a relief package for the poor and migrant workers amid a 21-day countrywide lockdown to mitigate the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Besides, she also announced an insurance cover worth Rs 50 lakh per person for sanitation workers, ASHA workers, doctors, nurses and paramedics who are on the frontlines of the corona battle. For 80 crore poor — or two-third of the population — over and above 5 kg of rice or wheat that is already given, another 5 kg per person will be given free through the Public Distribution System. Besides, one kg of preferred and region-specific choice of a pulse will also be given, said Sitharaman.

Steps being taken for simplification of GST: Sitharaman assures traders

“The government will ensure that no person remains without food in this period of lockdown,” she said while unveiling features of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Scheme.

The farmers will get the first installment of Rs 2,000 in the first week of April. About 8.69 crore farmers will get immediate benefit out of it.

Under the MNREGA scheme, the wage rate has been increased from Rs 182 to Rs 202, amounting to an increase of Rs 2000 per worker. This will benefit 5 crore people.

For old age pensioners and widows, an additional ex-gratia amount of Rs 1,000 for the next three months available in two installments. It will benefit 3 crore widows and senior citizens.

For women Jan Dhan account holders, a one-time ex-gratia of Rs 500 per month will be given for the next three months. This will benefit 20 crore women.

For the beneficiaries of Women Ujwala Scheme, free cylinders will be given to 8.3 crore BPL families for three months.

Under the Deen Dayal National Livelihood Mission, women self-help groups (SHGs) will be provided collateral-free loans up to Rs 20 lakh from Rs 10 lakh earlier. This will impact 7 crore holders through 63 lakh SHGs.

For the organised sector, the government will pay provident fund contribution of both the employer and the employee put together at 24 per cent for the next three months. This is for those establishments with up to 100 employees and 90 per cent of them earning less than Rs 15,000 per month.

The EPFO regulation will be amended so that workers can draw up to 75 per cent of the amount for their contingency expenditure. This will benefit 4.8 crore workers.

For 3.5 crore construction workers, state governments have been directed to use the welfare fund for building and construction labourers which has about Rs 31,000 crore to help those who are facing economic disruption because of the lockdown.

State governments have also been asked to utilise funds available under the district mineral fund for testing activities, medical screening, providing health attention needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

She also said that workers – like nurses, paramedics and sanitation staff – who were in the frontline of the war against the disease, will be provided medical insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh per person.

Last date for Income Tax return for financial year 2018-19 is June 30: Nirmala Sitharaman

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# Workers to be allowed to draw non-refundable advance of 75 pc from credit in PF a/c or 3 months salary, whichever is lower: FM

# Govt to pay employee, employer contribution to PF for 3 months for establishment with 90 pc of staff with Rs 15,000 wage: FM

# Collateral-free loan doubled to Rs 20 lakh to 63 lakh women self-help groups; to impact 7 crore households: FM

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# FM announces Rs 1.70 lakh crore Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan scheme to help the needy

# 80 cr poor people will to get 5 kg wheat or rice and 1 kg of preferred pulses for free every month for the next three months: FM

# Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Ann Yojna(for next 3 months):80 cr poor ppl covered(2/3rd of India’s population), in addition to already allotted 5Kg of rice/wheat per person,an additional 5kg will be free. Additional 1kg pulse (acc to regional preference) will be given,announces FM

# Rs 50 lakh per person insurance cover for doctors, paramedic, healthcare workers dealing with coronavirus outbreak, says FM

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# A package is ready for the poor who need immediate help like migrant workers and urban and rural poor. No one will go hungry. The package is worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

# It is hereby informed that, in light of the lockdown issued by the government, Metro services will remain closed till 14 April 2020: Delhi Metro Rail Corporation

# Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has announced a Rs 100 crore relief package for the poor in wake of Coronavirus Lockdown

# Two more Covid-19 cases reported in Bihar, taking the total count to six in the state: Official

# Total number of COVID19 positive cases rise to 649 in India (including 593 active cases, 42 cured/discharged people and 13 deaths): Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

# Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal to hold a meeting over Coronavirus today. Following the meeting, Delhi CM and Delhi to address a joint press briefing.

# 2 new positive cases of Coronavirus in Mumbai and Thane; Till now, the total number of positive cases in the state is 124: Health Department, Maharashtra

# A 65-year-old man from Hyderpora, Srinagar passes away due to Coronavirus; Four of his contacts also tested positive yesterday: J&K Principal Secretary (Planning Commission) Rohit Kansal

# 1 more COVID-19 case reported in West Bengal, total tally reaches 10

# West Bengal: Buses, trams, and metros in Kolkata have stopped plying as the city remains under lockdown to control the spread of Coronavirus; Total number of positive cases in the state now stand at 10

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Tuesday announced a 21-day lockdown in the entire country effective from midnight to deal with the spread of coronavirus, saying that “social distancing” is the only option to deal with the disease, which spreads rapidly.