Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman: Economic Relief Package

“Reaching out to people in need is the prime concern for government now”

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

In view of the recent coronavirus pandemic also called COVID 19 disease, all the economies of the world are suffering heavily. The same holds true for the INDIAN Economy. In order to prevent the situation from worsening & in order to help the downtrodden section of the society, the Finance Minister of India, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman has come up with the following measures:-

Here’re some quick highlights of all relieving measures and announcements she did during her press conference are as under:

  1. Special allocation of Rs 1.7 lakh crore shall be done under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana to support policies under the Economic Relief Package of government providing aid to people in the fight against coronavirus.
  2. Within her Economic Relief Package, she announced for a Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana which will support the additional distribution of free food grains to nearly 80 crore individuals. The scheme extends the delivery of food grains to poor with the double quantity which they are currently entitled to receive through the Public Distribution System (PDS.) In addition, 1 kg pulses according to regional preferences shall also be provided free of cost for 3 months.
  3. Health benefits through the Economic Relief Package will also be extended for all Safai Karamcharis, Ward boys, Nurses, Paramedics, ASHA  Workers, Technicians, Doctors, Specialists, and other workers, where they all will be insured withRs 50 lakh in cases of mishappening due to pandemic under special insurance scheme of government. This will benefit about 22 lakh health workers of both the Centre and State.
  4. Monetary support through the Economic Relief Package has been insured through different Kalyan Schemes, where under ;

a.  PM KISAN Yojana, Rs 2,000 will be credited in bank accounts of Kisan beneficiaries under the scheme by April 2020.

b.  PM Jan Dhan Yojana, Rs 500 per month would be given to women beneficiaries of the scheme for the next three months.

c. Schemes covering senior citizens, widows and specially-abled people (Divyang) will be benefited with Rs 1,000            per month for 3 months.

d.  MNREGA Scheme, wages of workers will be enhanced with Rs 20 from 1st April 2020. This will benefit about          13.6 crore families.

5. Policy for free distribution of gas cylinders/LPG to beneficiaries of PM Garib Kalyan Yojana for the next three months has also been proposed.

6. Some special policies under the Economic Relief Package were also incorporated for women workers and low wage-earners where ;

  1. Workers earning Rs 15,000 per month will be provided with an additional deposit of 24% of their salary into their PF(Provident fund ) account from the government.
  2. Self –help groups managed by women will be benefitted from the enhancement of collateral-free credit limit from the government from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh. This will help 63 lakh SHGs.

7. Special amendments and regulatory changes through the Economic Relief Package were also proposed             where :

  1. EPF Regulations will be amended to include the term “Pandemic” as a reason for allowing employees to withdraw/ refund of 75% of the amount of three-month wages whichever is lower from their PF accounts.
  2. A Welfare Fund for the pandemic will be created under the Central Government Act which will be granted with directions to State Government for the protection of workers against the pandemic miss happenings.
  3. A district mineral fund will be created to be utilized under District Mineral Fund (DMF) for supplementing medical facilities and undertake preventive measures against COVID-19.

Besides, in the previous press conference, FM announced for extension in taxation and corporate compliances due to the spread of COVID-19.

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Also Read: RBI Prepositions for Lockdown: COVID-19 Policy Updates