Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched a financial stimulus package worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore to aid the poor and migrants tackle the financial distress emanating from coronavirus outbreak and the 21-day lockdown.
Setting forth the relief package under PM areeb Kalyan Scheme, Nirmala Sitharaman stated, “No one wil go hungry” and the instantaneous focus was on easing the hardships of the migrant workers, urban and rural poor.
The relief measures included direct cash transfers and food security related measures directed at providing relief to the poor workers hit by the nationwide lockdown that started this week.
Big announcements by Nirmala Sitharaman:
1) Medical insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh per person for those on the frontline of the fight against Covid-17 i.e. doctors, nurses and also sanitation workers
2) Direct cash transfer for eight categories, including pensioners, women and the specially-abled. Farmers will get first instalment of Rs 2,000 of PM Kisan in the first week of April and MNREGA wages will be go up from Rs 182 to Rs 202 and women holding Jan Dhan account holders will get an ex-gratia amount of Rs 500 per month for the next three months
3) Every household will get Rs 5 kg of rice or wheat per month free of cost, in addition to the existing 5 kg. In addition, the household will also get 1 kg of preferred dal for free for the next three months.
4) Women in self-help groups will receive up to Rs 10 lakh collateral-free loans under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya National Rural Mission scheme. And the cap has been doubled to Rs 20 lakh.
5) As far as the organised sector is concerned, the Centre will pay PF for both the employee and employer for the next three months for small companies that have up to 100 employees and 90 per cent of whom earn less than Rs 15,000 per month.
6) The Nirmala Sitharaman also said women holding bank accounts under the financial inclusion scheme Jan Dhan will get an ex-gratia amount of Rs 500 per month for next three months.