Key takeaways from the Finance Ministry Economic Relief Package | Rs 1.7 Lakh Crore


Key takeaways from the Finance Ministry Economic Relief Package | Rs 1.7 Lakh Crore

Rs 50 Lakh Insurance for Health Workers; Payment of PF Contribution of both employers and employees and other sops to the economically weaker sections aim to give a respite during Lockdown and immediately thereafter
 
Key takeaways from the Finance Ministry Economic Relief Package | Rs 1.7 Lakh Crore
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Finance Ministry of the Government of India announced a slew of measures following the 21 day lockdown imposed across India to control the spread of Coronavirus in the country.

In all, the package for the economically weaker section amounts to a Rs. 1.7 Lakh Crore mega relief package.

Announcing the relief measures in her 1PM address to the nation today, Nirmala Sitharaman said that the measures proposed by the government will be in effect immediately and will provide the much sought after relief for the economically weaker segment. The hardships that they are expected to face in the near future may ease to a great extent with this relief package.

Here is a quick summary of what NS had to offer under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Scheme.

Healthcare Workers

The government has set up a Rs 50 Lakh Health Insurance Plan for the health workers involved in tackling the coronavirus infection across the nation – Doctors, Nurses, Hospital and Clinic Staff and support staff, which include cleaners, paramedics, technicians and other specialists.  If either of the above meets with an accident while performing her/his duties treating a COVID-19 patient over the next three months, she/he will be compensated with Rs 50 Lakh under the scheme.  All government health centers, wellness centers, and hospitals under the central and state government will be covered.  Over 22 Lakh health workers are within the purview of this scheme.

Those registered under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Scheme

Over and above the free ration that those registered under the above scheme are getting, there will be an additional 5kg of Wheat / Rice that will be provided for each person per month for the next three months. In addition, 1 kg of regionally available pulses will also be provided to each family every month for the next three months.

Farmers

Farmers will be given Rs 2,000 as a direct transfer into their accounts in the first week of April 2020, as an immediate relief measure. It may be noted that under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna, Farmers get Rs 6,000 into their account. This will benefit 8.7 Crore families and the total expected outlay will be Rs 16,000 Crore.

MNREGA Daily Wage Earners

The daily wages of MNREGA daily wage workers will be increased from Rs 182 per day to Rs 202 per day, which will mean an increase of Rs 2,000 per month and benefit 5 crore families.

Senior Citizens, Widows and Disabled

A one time ex-gratia amount of Rs 1,000 will be credit to the accounts of those who will be affected under this category. The total cost of this will be Rs. 3,000 crore and will benefit 3 crore widows, senior citizens and disabled.         

Women under Jan Dhan Yojna

The government has set aside Rs 31,000 Crore to be spent on nearly 20 crore women registered under the Jan Dhan Yojna. Rs 500 per month will be directly credited to their account for the next three months, to help them tide over the difficulty in meeting their routine expenses.

Women under Ujjval Scheme

8 crore BPL families are expected to be benefited under this scheme.  Each family will get a free Gas Cylinder over the next three months. A maximum of 3 gas cylinders will be provided.

Self Help Groups

The collateral free loan for Women registered under the Self Help Groups scheme has been increased from Rs 10 Lakh to Rs 20 Lakh. 7 crore families are expected to be benefitted by the 63 lakh SHGs across the country under the National Rural Livelihood Mission.

Poor Organized Sector workers

  • EPFO: The government will contribute both the employers share (12%) as well as the employees share (12%) into the Provident Fund account for the next three years. To be entitled for the this scheme, the firm must have upto 100 workers, 90% of whom drawing a salary of Rs 15,000 or less. This will benefit 80 lakh employees and over 4 lakh establishments.
  • EPFO: Employees will be allowed a non-refundable advance of 75% of the amount in their Provident Fund account or three months salary, whichever is lower. This will benefit at least 4.8 crore registered employees.
  • State governments have been instructed to utilize the funds from the Rs 31,000 Crore Building Construction Fund, to give relief to construction workers who will be hard hit due to the lockdown and the ensuing economic slowdown.
  • State governments have also been asked to facilitate help for medical tests and screening for mining workers.

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