Usually found between the pages of a book or contemplating the nuances of the universe. But mostly, I tell stories.
In a bid to fight the economic impact of the 21-day nationwide lockdown on the poor, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday, March 26, announced a ₹1.7 lakh crore relief package. The Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan Yojana (food scheme), will benefit 80 crore people, the FM said.
"Everyone under this scheme will get 5 kg of wheat/rice for free in addition to what they are already getting. We will also give 1 kg of any one choice of pulses to each household under this scheme for the next three months. They can take it in two instalments also," said Sitharaman.
The scheme comes into effect immediately and people will be able to avail the benefits from April 1. It will also include cash transfers to the poor and migrants.
The FM also announced a medical insurance cover of ₹50 lakh for sanitation workers, ASHA workers, doctors, nurses, paramedics for three months.
Under Ujjwala scheme,8.3 crore women in below the poverty line families will get free LPG cylinders for three months.
The Central government has directed the state governments to use ₹31,000 crore of construction welfare fund to provide relief to building and construction workers.
The government will pay EPF contribution, both employer and employee, for three months for all those establishments with less than 100 employees out of which 90 per cent earn less than ₹15,000 per month. Furthermore, for the organised sector, EPFO regulation will be amended so that workers can draw up to 75 per cent for their contingency expenditure non-refundable advance or three months of wages in advance, whichever is less.
In a step benefitting 8.69 crore farmers, the first instalment of ₹2,000 of PM Kisan will be given in the first week of April. Furthermore, every MNREGA worker will get a hike of₹2,000 by increasing the wage rate from ₹182 to ₹202. This will benefit 5 crore people.
An additional ex-gratia amount of ₹1,000 for the next three months will be available in two instalments for senior citizens and widows. It will benefit three crore widows and senior citizens.
Every Women Jan Dhan account holders will get Ex gratia of ₹500 per month for the next three months. This will benefit 20 crore women.
To support Women Self Help Groups, Under the Deen Dayal National Livelihood Mission, the collateral-free loan will be given up to ₹20 lakh from the previous ₹10 lakh.
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