As India observes 21 days lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced 1.7 lakh crore corona relief package for the daily wage earners, women workers and migrant rural workers.
FM said the government has made arrangements to ensure that the poor are not hungry and under the PM Garib Anna Yojna 80 Lakh poor people will get 5 kg grains per person per month for the next three months for free, 1 kg of pulses for each household for free. This will be over and above the current 5 kg they get under the National Food Security Act. In the Garib Kalyan Yojna Finance Minister announced 8 crore Ujjwala beneficiaries will get free gas cylinders for three months. FM also announced to pay Rs. 500 to 20 crore women Jan Dhan Yojana account holders per month for the upcoming three months. For the next three months, Rs 1000 extra will be paid to senior citizens, poor widows and poor disabled. The Finance Minister also announced an increase in MNREGA wage to Rs 202 a day from Rs 182. This will benefit 5 crore families. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced Rs 50 lakh as medical cover for Corona Warriors who are health workers, officials and Asha workers and who have been working 24×7 in this pandemic situation. Under the PM Kishan Yojna, 8.65 crore farmers will get Rs 2,000 in the first week of April. Government will contribute 12% from both the side, the employer side and the employee side to PF accounts. This for those firms where there are less than 100 employees, 90% of whom draw less than 15,000 per month in wages. Earlier PM Modi had announced an Economic Task Force to be headed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.