Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced a Rs 1.7 lakh crore economic relief package for those hit hardest by the coronavirus outbreak in the country. The stimulus includes Rs 50 lakh per person insurance cover for doctors, paramedic, healthcare workers dealing with the deadly virus as well as 5 kg wheat or rice and 1 kg of preferred pulses for free every month for the next three months for 80 crore poor people.
Here are the BIG TAKEAWAYS from Sitharaman's media address:
- District Mineral Fund: Central Govt to request State Govts to use this fund to augment medical testing and screening and providing health attention.
- Welfare for building and construction workers, registered 3.5 crore workers to be benefited, Central Govt has given orders to State Govts to use fund (Rs31,000 crore) to provide relief.
- Govt ready to amend the regulation of EPF due to this pandemic so that workers can draw upto 75% non-refundable advance from credit in PF account or 3 months salary, whichever is lower.
- Govt of India will pay the Employees' Provident Fund(EPF) contribution, both of employer and employee, put together it will be 24%, this will be for next 3 months.This is for those establishments which have upto 100 employees and 90% of them earn less that 15,000.
- Ujjawala scheme near 8.3 crore BPL families covered in this, so that no running short of cooking medium, for 3 months free cylinders.
- Self Help women groups (7 crore houses holds covered), collateral-free loans doubled to 20 Lakh, to increase money in hand.
- DBT Cash transfers: 1)Farmers, MGNREGA, Poor widows, Pensioners and divyangs covered. 2) Jan Dhan Yojna accounts, Ujjwala scheme, Self help group women dealing with DDU livelihood missions, EPFO organised workers covered. 3) Construction workers and district mineral workers covered.
- 20 crore Jan Dhan Women account holders covered- Ex gratia amount of Rs 500 per month for the next three months.
- Old age, Divyang, pensioners: 3 crore people covered, one-time amount of additional Rs 1000 in two installments through DBT (hence no middlemen) over 3 months to be given.
- Wage increase in MGNREGA- 5 crore families benefited, an increase of Rs 2000 per worker on average as additional income.
- Under cash transfers which is largely under DBT there are going to be 8 specific group of people who will be addressed. These include farmers, MGNREGA beneficiaries, poor widows, poor divyang, women having Jan Dhan Yojana accounts and women under Ujjwala yojana, women in SHGs, women under EPFO, construction workers.
- 80 crore poor people 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.
- There will be Rs 50 lakh insurance per health care worker as a medical insurance cover for them for three months. Hopefully, we would be able to contain the virus in this period.
- 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