Coronavirus relief package: Free gas cylinders to Ujjwala beneficiaries for next 3 months
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced that Ujjwala beneficiaries will get free cooking gas for three months. The FM said that the move would benefit 8.3 crore families in the country.
In order to support the poor amid coronavirus outbreak, Sitharaman announced a Rs 1.7 lakh crore Garib Kalyan Yojana. The package includes cash transfers for farmers, MGNREGA workers, widow/pensioners, apart from benefits under Jan Dhan Yojana, Ujjwala scheme and EPFO.
"A package is ready for the poor who need immediate help like migrant workers and urban and rural poor. No one will go hungry. The package is worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore," Sitharaman said.
The relief package also includes Rs 50 lakh medical insurance cover for each frontline Asha workers, sanitation workers, and medical staff involved in managing coronavirus outbreak.
Also, for the next three months, Rs 500 per month will be distributed to 20.5 crore women Jan Dhan Account holders. The government also hiked the daily wage under MNREGA to Rs 202 a day from Rs 182.
For farmers, the FM said that the government would release the first instalment of Rs 2,000 in the first week of April under the existing PM Kisan Yojana. Total 8.69 crore farmers will be benefited from this moved, the FM claimed.
For poor senior citizens, widow and disabled, the FM announced ex-gratia of Rs 1,000.
For women self-help group (SHGs), Sitharaman declared collateral-free loan up to Rs 20 lakh, which will help 63 lakh self help groups.
Lastly, the FM said that government will pay employee provident fund (EPF) contribution for both employer and employee (12 per cent) each for the next three months The package is for companies that have upto 100 employees and are earning less than Rs 15,000 per month.