New Delhi, March 26, 2020, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced some measures to deal with the economic distress caused due to coronavirus. The country is already facing complete lockdown at the moment which is making the situation tough for daily wage earners. The finance minister also tweeted about the announcement of an economic relief package of 1.7 lakh crore by the government on her twitter account.
The 21-day complete lockdown announced by PM Narendra Modi will definitely affect the revenue of many companies. Also will hit them hard. Many companies have revised downfall in their Q4 economic growth projections. And also estimated downfall in the growth estimates for next fiscal year FY 2021.
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Wednesday that the Centre is supporting various state governments in relief for the poor.
The announcement of the economic relief package worth 1.7 lakh crore by government is made under the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana. It will bring relief to the urban and rural poor, migrant workers and women in the bottom of the socio-economic grade.
Also the finance minister had already announced some measures on Tuesday that included extension of tax deadlines. Also easing the minimum balance norms for savings accounts. Plus increasing threshold of insolvency filing to Rs 1 crore from Rs 1 lakh.
What is PM Garib Kalyan Scheme:
PM Garib Kalyan Scheme will entail Rs 1.7 lakh crore (Economic Relief Package)
- It will include both cash transfer and food security.
- Also it will provide insurance cover worth Rs 50 lakh for sanitation workers, ASHA workers, doctors, nurses, paramedics in case they need it as they are on the frontlines of the corona battle.
- Over and above 5kg of rice/wheat, another 5 kg per person is specified free to around 80 crore people through PDS. Besides, one kg of preferred and region specific choice of pulse will also be given.
D K Agaarwal – President PHD Chamber said – “The inclusion of extra Anna in the existing Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, keeping in view the regional preferences and the essential nutrition intake, is highly appreciated.” Also he said, this will go a long way in maintaining the nutrition of the poor and also restrain a situation of panic in the current times.
Benefits Of The Economic Relief Fund – PM Garib Kalyan Yojana
Farmers: First instalment of Rs 2,000 of PM Kisan will be given in the first week of April. 8.69 cr farmers will get immediate benefit out of it.
MNREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act): Increase in wage rate from Rs 182 to Rs 202 amounting to an increase of Rs 2000 per worker. And it will benefit 5 crore people.
Old Age/Widows: Ex-gratia of Rs 1,000 for next three months available in two instalments. It will benefit 3 crore widows and senior citizens.
Women Jan Dhan Account Holders: Ex gratia of Rs 500 per month for next three months. This will benefit 20 crore women.
Women Ujjawala Scheme Beneficiaries: For 3 months, free cylinders. Will benefit 8.3 crore BPL families.
Women Self Help Groups: Under the Deen Dayal National Livelihood Mission, collateral free loan will be given up to Rs 20 lakh from Rs 10 lakh earlier. Impact on 7 crore holders through 63 lakh SHGs.
Organised sector: Government of India will pay the EPF contribution. It will include both of the employer and the employee put together 24% for next three months. This is for those establishments with up to 100 employees, 90% of them earning less than Rs 15,000.
For the organised sector: EPFO regulation will be amended so that workers can draw up to 75% for their contingency expenditure non-refundable advance or three months of wages in advance whichever is less. This will benefit 4.8 cr workers.
Construction Workers: The State government has been directed to use the welfare fund for building & construction labourers which has around Rs 31,000 crore to help those who are facing economic disruption because of the lockdown.
District mineral fund: States will use this fund to supplement and augment all kind of medical testing and screening activities.