The Government of India is going to spend Rs 1.70 trillion to help the poor cope with the three- week pan India Lock-Down designed to check the COVID-19 outbreak.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced about the Rs 1.70 lakh crore-package on Thursday- two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s total lock-down order. “Today’s measures are intended at reaching out to the poorest of the poor, with food and money in hands.” the Finance Minister said.
The government has devised the package with various means to help the poor have food as well as cash to subsist in the upcoming tough time.
The scheme, called Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package, has the provision of 5 Kg of rice or wheat per head to the poor families free of cost in addition to their regular monthly quota. Besides, the poor households will get a kg of pulse on free. Nearly 80 crore people will get benefit under this scheme for the next three months.
Eight crore UJWALA beneficiaries in the country will get three gas cylinders in the next three months added the Minister. Some 20.40 crore women account holders under the Jandhan scheme will get Rs 500 per month for the next three months. The first installment Rs 2000 under PM KISAN Yojana for the year 2020-21 will go the beneficiaries’ account in advance in April.
The central government has also initiated an insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh for the health workers engaged with the pandemic. Safai karamcharis, ward-boys, nurses, ASHA workers, paramedics, technicians, doctors and specialists, and other health workers would be covered by the Special insurance Scheme.
Under this package, the government, for the next three months, will pay 24 percent of the monthly wages into the PF accounts of those having monthly wages under Rs 15000.