Finance Minister announces COVID-19 economic package

Imphal: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who is heading the economic task force to combat the Coronavirus pandemic, on Thursday, announced Rs 1.7 lakh crore bailout packages for the poor, farmers, SHGs, and the organised sector to help them battle any economic disruption.

Following are the packages announce by the minister:

1. Rs 50 lakh Insurance scheme for health workers fighting COVID-19.

2. 8.7 crore farmers would be given Rs. 2,000 in the month of April.

3. A total of 20.40 crore PMJDY women account-holders would be given an ex-gratia of Rs 500 per month for next three months. For this purpose, the Government of India will spend Rs 31,000 crore.

4. Three gas cylinders would be provided for the next three months free of cost to 10.8 crore families of below poverty line.

5. Government would bear 24% of EPF for the next three months for employees earning below Rs 15,000 per month for businesses having less than 100 employees. Rs 5,000 crore are being provided for this purpose.

6. Government will give Rs 1,000 to 3 crore aged widows and people in Dviyang category who are vulnerable due to economic disruption caused by COVID-19. Rs 3,000 crore has been provided for this purpose.

7. About 80 crore people will come under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (food scheme). Everyone under this scheme will get 5 kg of wheat/rice for free in addition to what they are already getting. The government will also give 1 kg of
of one choice of pulse to each household under this scheme for the next three months. People can take it in two instalments as well.

8. MNREGA wages would be increased by Rs 20 with effect from April 1. Rs. 5,600 crore will be spent and 13.62 crore families will get benefit.

9. For 63 lakh SHGs, which help 7 crore households, the government is doubling collateral-free loans to Rs 20 lakh.

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