Coronavirus impact: Centre to provide Rs 170000 crore relief package

Coronavirus relief package Free gas cylinders to Ujjwala beneficiaries for next 3 months

The government on Thursday announced a Rs 1,70,000 crore package for the next three months for the vulnerable sections of the population.

Sitharaman's stimulusAddressing the press briefing Nirmala Sitharaman said, "The government has been working such that those affected - the disadvantaged of society - will have to be reached out to with tangible help".

The package will include cash transfer and food subsidy, she said.

The insurance scheme will cover safai karamcharis (sanitation workers), war-boys, nurses, paramedics, technicians, doctors and specialists and other health workers dealing with the pandemic.

The Minister further announced that there will be Rs 50 lakh insurance per health care worker - ASHA workers, paramedics, doctors, nurses, sanitary workers, as a medical insurance cover for them for three months.

Under PM Garib Kalyan yojana, gas cylinders, free of cost, would be provided to 8 crore poor families for the next three months. It will benefit 3 crore such people, the FM added.

Each farmer would be given Rs 2000 during the month of April 2020.

This will be transferred in their account by the first week of April. "A total of 8.69 crore farmers will benefit from this", said Sitharaman.

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Approximately, Rs 5,600 Crores will be spent for this objective. The cash transfer under the scheme will be through DBT in eight parts - Farmers, MNREGA, widows, poor pensioners, divyang, women under Jan Dhan Yojana, women and households under Ujjwala scheme, self-help groups for women especially under the livelihood mission, organized sector workers under EPFO, construction workers and district mineral funds.

The finance minister's proposal will enable employees to withdraw up to 75% of the PF balances limited to 3 months wages as non refundable advance enhancing liquidity of employees, she said.

The Union Minister remarked that the scheme will be applicable for companies with up to 100 employees, where 90% of employees are gettting less than Rs 15,000 as salary. This is expected to benefit 7 crore households through 63 lakh SHGs.

The Centre will also contribute 24 per cent towards EPF for firms with more than 100 employees for the next three month. They now can avail Rs 10 lac collateral-free loans.

This will help them by additional credit availability.

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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