Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced Rs 1.7 lakh crore package.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced Rs 1.7 lakh crore package while addressing the media in Delhi.

nirmala sitaraman
Nirmala Sitharaman

A package is ready for the poor who need immediate help like migrant workers and urban and rural poor. No one will go hungry. The package is worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore, announced Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Finance Minister also announced: DBT Cash transfers for 1)Farmers, MGNREGA, Poor widows, Pensioners&divyangs covered 2) Jan Dhan Yojna accounts, Ujjwala scheme, Self-help group women dealing with DDU livelihood missions, EPFO organized workers covered 3)Construction workers&district mineral workers covered.

Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Ann Yojna(for next 3 months) has also been announced. Under this scheme, 80 cr poor ppl will be covered(2/3rd of India’s population). In addition to already allotted 5Kg of rice/wheat per person, an additional 5kg will be given for free. An additional 1kg pulse (acc to regional preference) will be given. There will be Rs 50 lakh insurance per health care worker as a medical insurance cover for them for three months. Hopefully, we would be able to contain the virus in this period, said the FM.

FM has also announced relief for farmers. 8.69 crore farmers to be immediately benefited through Direct cash transfers. Installment of Rs 2000 in the first week of April will be transferred to them.

FM Sitharaman also announced a wage increase in the MGNREGA scheme. 5 crore families benefited, an increase of Rs 2000 per worker on average as additional income, said the FM. Also, 20 crore Jan Dhan Women account holders covered- Ex gratia amount of Rs 500 per month for the next three months, announces FM Sitharaman

Old age, Divyang, pensioners: 3 crore people covered, one-time amount of additional Rs 1000 in two installments through DBT (hence no middlemen) over 3 months to be given, announces FM Sitharaman

Free cylinders for 3 months will be provided to nearly 8.3 crores BPL families covered in the Ujjawala scheme so that no running short of the cooking medium. Collateral-free loans will be doubled to 20 lakhs to increase the money in the hand of Self Help Women Groups (7 crore houses holds covered).

India is under 21 days lockdown amid fears of Coronavirus.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also made a big relief announcement regarding the EPF. “Govt of India will pay the Employees’ Provident Fund(EPF) contribution, both employer and employee, put together it will be 24%, this will be for the next 3 months. This is for those establishments which have up to 100 employees and 90% of them earn less than 15,000″. She further said, ” Govt ready to amend the regulation of EPF due to this pandemic so that workers can draw upto 75% non-refundable advance from credit in PF account or 3 months salary, whichever is lower. This decision is going to benefit 4.8 crore workers “.

Central Govt has also given orders to State Govts to use funds (Rs31,000 crore) to provide relief for registered 3.5 crore building and construction workers. Central Govt will also request the State Govts to use District Mineral Fund to augment medical testing and screening and providing health attention. The package came as a huge relief amid the pandemic for the stressed citizens of the country. The lower middle class, daily wage workers and the poor had particularly faced the biggest economic issues at this time of crisis. The question of livelihood and hunger had also arisen for the people of lower economic strata. The distressed citizens will feel a sense of relief with the announcement of the huge welfare package. The government authorities will have to work in close coordination at the grass-root level so that the relief is provided to the needy.

WATCH: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s media address.