New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a package of Rs. 1.7 Lakh crores under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) in order to help the daily wage workers and migrant laborers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The relief package includes food security and direct cash transfer benefits to the help the poor for a period of three months.

The PMGKY package

Around 8.7 crore farmers will be given Rs.200 in April 2020. The government has set aside Rs.16000 crores for this. Gas cylinders will be given for free to around 8 crore families for three years, and RS,13,000 crores will be spent for this.

Workers working for monthly salary below RS.15,000 and are at the risk of losing their job due to lock down will be provided with 24% of their salary in the PF account. Aroud RS.5,000 crores will be distributed by government to the workers.

Pradhan Mantri Garib Ann Yojana

Sitharaman saying, “No one will go hungry”, announced that under the scheme, around 80 crore individuals will receive an additional five kilos of rice/wheat over the 5 kilo they already get. They will also get one-kilo pulse per household for a period of three months.

Government will bear entire expenditure of Rs 40000 crores for this purpose.

Insurance schemes

Safai karamcharis, ward-boys, nurses, paramedics, technicians, doctors and specialists and other health officials would be covered by a Special insurance Scheme, said a press statement.

Apart from that if any health professional meets with some accident while treating Covid-19 patients then he/she would be compensated with an amount of Rs 50 lakh under the scheme, the statement added. This means that almost 50 Lakh health professionals will be befitted by this scheme.

Other beneficiaries

Nirmala Sitharaman also announced beneficiaries for senior citizens, widows and daily wage labourers.

She said that wages under MNERGA will be increased by Rs.2000 per worker on an average to help the daily wage workers.

Around 20 crore women holding Jan Dhan Accounts will get Rs 500 per month for the next three months as a relief package. For this purpose, the Government of India will spend Rs 31000 crores .

Aged widows and people in Divyang category who are vulnerable to economic disruption due to the pandemic will get RS.1000 in two installments for the next three months for this purpose RS.3000 crore will be spent by the government.

Apart from this she also said, “Employees’ Provident Fund Regulations will be amended to include Pandemic as the reason to allow non-recoverable advance of 75 percent of the amount or three months of the wages, whichever is lower, from their accounts.” Four crore workers registered under EPF will be benefited by this.

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