The disaster of COVID-19 has affected lives globally from personal to professional, from rich to poor; all are under the black cloud of virus. Every national government is trying hard to get over this situation. Indian government is also one of them. Every day new relief measures are being launched by our government to tackle this situation effectively and efficiently. On March 26, 2020, our Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman has publicized the Rs 1.70 Lakh Crore relief package under Pradhan MantriGaribKalyanYojana (PMGKY), during the Press Conference in New Delhi. The motive behind this is to aid and support the Poverty-stricken people to fight a battle against Coronavirus.Let’s have a look at the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana Package which will provide support under various sections.
Insurance Cover of Rs 50 Lakh per healthcare worker fighting COVID-19 in Govt Hospitals& health centres
Coverage: Health workers which include Safaikaramcharis, ward-boys, nurses, ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers, paramedics, technicians, doctors and specialists and other health workers of government health centres, wellness centres and hospitals of Centre, as well as States, would be covered by a Special insurance Scheme.
- Any health professional, who while treating Covid-19 patients, met with some accident would be compensated with an amount of Rs 50 lakh under the scheme.
- Approximately 22 lakh health workers would be provided insurance cover to fight this pandemic.
PM Garib Kalyan Ann (अन्न) Yojana; foodgrain entitlement doubled
This scheme ensures the non-availability of foodgrains due to disruption in the next three months and will cover 80 crore, poor individuals. Each one of them would be provided double of their current entitlement over the next three months. This additionality would be free of cost.
- For eg: The population getting 5 kg rice or wheat each month will get additional 5kg they already get for the next three months free of charge.
- This scheme also ensures adequate availability of protein to all poor families. 1 kg of pulses per family would be provided for the next three months free of cost.
Farmers to get the first instalment of Rs 2000 under PM KISAN in April 2020
The government will start transferring the first instalment of Rs 2,000 due in 2020-21 under Pradhan MantriKisanSamman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) from the first week of April 2020. Costing around Rs 15,000 crore to Centre, it will benefit 8.69 crore farmers.
Women Jan Dhan account holders to get Rs 500 per month for the next 3 months
The 20 crores Pradhan Mantri Jan-DhanYojana (PMJDY) women account-holders would be given an ex-gratia of Rs 500 per month for the next three months. Pradhan Mantri Jan DhanYojana (PMJDY) was launched in August, 2014 with the objective to provide universal access to banking facilities to the people of the country.
Increase in MGNREGA wage to Rs 202 a day from Rs 182 to benefit 13.62 crore families
Govt has increased MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) wage by Rs 20 to Rs 202 a day from Rs 182 with effect from 1 April, 2020. It will benefit 13.62 crore families.
Ex-gratia of Rs 1,000 to 3 crore poor senior citizen, poor widows and poor disabled
A support of Rs 1,000 for next three months to poor senior citizens (above 60 years), widows and Divyang will be provided to get over difficulties created due to COVID-19.
Building and Construction Workers Welfare Fund used for Construction Workers
Central Government has given orders to State Governments to use Rs 31000 crore Building and Construction Workers Welfare Fund to provide assistance to Construction Workers.Welfare Fund for Building and Other Constructions Workers has been created under a Central Government Act.
Other Components under package:
–Gas cylinders would be provided free of cost to poor families for the next three months. It will cost Rs 19,200 crore.
-Government will pay the24% of EPF (Employees’ Provident Fund) contribution for both employer and employee for next three months, in establishments where up to 100 people are employed, and 90% of who earn less than Rs 15,000 a month.
-Limit of collateral-free lending increased from Rs 10 lakhs to Rs 20 lakhs for Self Help Groups (SHGs).
-Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) Regulations will be amended to include Pandemic as the reason to allow non-refundable advance of 75% of the amount or three months of the wages, whichever is lower, from their accounts.
-The State Government mandated to use the funds available under District Mineral Fund (DMF) for medical testing, screening and other requirements related to the prevention of COVID-19 pandemic.
About Finance Ministry
Minister of State (MoS)– Anurag Singh Thakur
Departments– 5: Department of Expenditure, Department of Economic Affairs, Department of Financial Services, Department of Revenue, and Department of Investment and Public Asset Management.