The centre’s relief package to take the edge off the effect of coronavirus on Thursday got a rare commendation from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who called it the "first step in the right direction" in a tweet. This development comes after Sonia Gandhi wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowing full support to the government in the fight against coronavirus.
"The government announcement today of a financial assistance package, is the first step in the right direction. India owes a debt to its farmers, daily wage earners, labourers, women and the elderly who are bearing the brunt of the ongoing lockdown," Rahul Gandhi tweeted, in a marked change from his previous posts targeting the government.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has put out a Rs 1,75,000 crore scheme, called the “Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan scheme. It will tackle the concerns of poor, migrant workers and those who need aid”, Finance Minister said, further adding that the government would ensure that ‘no one will go hungry.
Those at the frontline – including doctors, nurses and support staff – will be provided with a Rs 50 lakh medical insurance cover.
The centre also put out a scheme for 5 kg extra wheat and rice free of cost for the next three months for the poor beyond what they are entitled to under the National Food Security Act. They will also receive 1kg pulses free for the next three months and free cooking gas.
Earlier, Congress president Sonia Gandhi had written a letter to PM Modi: "As president of the Congress, I would like to state that we will support and collaborate fully with every step taking by the union government to ensure the containment of the pandemic."