Coronavirus impact: Centre to provide Rs 170000 crore relief package

Coronavirus in India Live Updates Indian Railways suspends all passenger operations till April 14

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi backed the Rs 1.7 lakh crore stimulus package announced by the Modi government saying it was the "first step in the right direction".

She said, "The government has been working so that does affected directly, particularly the poor and the disadvantaged be reached out to".

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said the government will pay the EPF (Employees' Provident Fund) contribution both of the employer and the employee (10 per cent each) for the next three months in wake of coronavirus outbreak.

The government has chose to provide a temporary three-month insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh for all frontline Covid health staff, including doctors, paramedics and health care workers.

All government health centres, wellness centres and hospitals of Centre as well as States would be covered under this scheme and approximately 22 lakh health workers would be provided insurance cover to fight this pandemic.

"She also said that 80 crore poor people, almost two thirds of the population will get five kg of rice or wheat per month for three months, in addition to the 5 kg they already receive, for free". "Besides, 1 kg pulse available regionally will also be given for free to 80 crore people", the minister said. This is expected to benefit 5 crore families.

"Farmers get annual Rs 6000 but now they will get Rs 2000 at the beginning of the year".

Women with Jan Dhan Yojana accounts: 200 million such account holders will benefit from Rs 500 ex-gratia for the next three months. "A total of 8.69 crore farmers will benefit from this", said Sitharaman.

Also, the daily wage under MNREGA has been increased to Rs 202 a day from Rs 182 to benefit 5 crore workers. Along with it, in addition to the already allotted five Kg of rice/wheat per person, an additional 5kg will be free for the poor.

For farmers, FM Nirmala announced that the first installment of PM Kisan Yojana - an existing scheme - will be paid in advance in the month of April.

An insurance scheme for the health workers was also announced by the Finance Minister.

Women organised through 63 lakhs Self Help Groups (SHGs) support 6.85 crore households.

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. This is only for those establishments which have up to 100 employees, where 90% of employees earning less than Rs 15000 per month.

By a central government Act, there is a welfare fund of Rs 31,000 crore for building and other construction workers, which has 3.5 crore registered workers.



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