The Union government announced a Rs. 1.7 lakh-crore package in response to the countrywide COVID-19 lockdown. It provides free food and cash transfers to support the poorest citizens who are most vulnerable during the crisis. Here are the main features of the economic relief package:
- Insurance cover of Rs. 50 lakh per person for doctors and medical workers fighting COVID-19.
- 5 kg wheat or rice and 1 kg of preferred pulses for free every month for the next 3 months for 80 crore poor people.
- Free grains can be availed in two installments.
- Increase in MGNREGA wage to Rs. 202 a day from Rs. 182 for 13.62 crore families.
- Rs.500 per month for the next three months for 20.4 crore Jan Dhan women account holders.
- Ex-gratia of Rs. 1,000 to 3 crore senior citizens, disabled and widows among the poor.
- Government to frontload Rs. 2000 to 8.7 crore farmers in the first week of April under the existing PM Kisan Yojana.
- Free cylinders for the next three months for 8.3 crore below the poverty line families.
- Wage-earners below Rs. 15,000 per month in businesses having less than 100 workers to receive 24% of their monthly wages. This will be directed into their PF accounts for the next three months.
- State governments are to use the Construction Workers Welfare Fund to give relief to 3.5 crore registered workers.
Also read: An inadequate lockdown package