Finance Minister Announces Rs 1.7 lakh crore For Poor

Amid the COVID-19 crisi and the nationwide lockdown, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressed the media and announced an economic package of Rs. 1.7 lakh crore to help the poor and migrant

Amid the coronavirus crisis and the lockdown that has been imposed in India for three weeks, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressed the media. She announced an economic package of Rs. 1.7 lakh crore to help the poor and migrant workers. The Finance Minister said that this package will take care of their food requirement, and through direct money transfers so that they have money in their hands. 

Let me tell you the highlights of the Finance Minister’s speech. 

The Finance Minister has said that medical workers are like Gods in white costumes. They are working very hard to help India contain the Coronavirus. Sanitation workers, Asha workers, nurses, etc are all working very hard. This is why the government has announced a Rs 50 lakh medical insurance cover for Medical Workers.  

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana:

Supply of food grains such as rice/wheat, will be doubled and given free of cost for the next three months. Right now people are getting 5 kg of rice/wheat for free. After the FM’s announcement, they can get more 5kg. Also 1kg of dal will be given for free. This can be taken in by every family in two installments from the ration shops.  

Kisan Samman Nidhi: 

Currently ?6,000 a year, will be given to farmers. Farmers will get the first installment of Rs 2,000 on 1st April. 

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme: 

Right now the daily wage rate is Rs 182 per day. But now the government has increased it to Rs 202 a day till lockdown ends. This will benefit 5 crore people in India and their income will increase by Rs 2,000 a year. 

In the next three months, Rs 1,000 will be given to 300 million poor senior-citizens, poor widows and poor disabled. This will be given in two instalments. 

There are 200 million women who are Jan Dhan Account Holders. They will get Rs 500 a month for the next three months. 

Ujjwala Scheme:

This is a scheme that provides subsidised (Cheap) cooking gas cylinders to below poverty line (BPL) families. There are almost 83 million people who are benefiting from this scheme. Now for the next three months, they will get free cooking gas cylinders. 

Provident Fund: 

This is only for firms with up to 100 employees and where 90% of the staff earn less than Rs 15,000 per month. The monthly Provident Fund contribution of the employee will now be borne by the government for the next three months. 

The Provident Funds Scheme Regulation will be changed to allow employees withdraw 75% of their PF balance or three-months wages, whichever is lower. 

Construction Workers

Due to the lockdown many construction projects have stopped. 

The Welfare Fund for Construction Workers has 3.5 crore registered people and a total corpus of Rs 31,000 crore. The Central Government will direct State Governments to use this amount to help workers. 

During the press conference, the FM was asked about the government’s plan to help companies that have stopped working and are cutting Employee Salary. The FM said that the government will slowly make announcements regarding this.