Coronavirus impact: Centre to provide Rs 170000 crore relief package

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The number of infected persons declined on Tuesday

"The government has been working so that those affected due to the novel coronavirus since the lockdown commenced on the intervening night of 24-25 March, will be reached out".

The finance minister said that the cash transfer will be through the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).

The FM announced that frontline workers including doctors, paramedical staff, ASHA workers, and sanitation workers will get an insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh per head.

All government health centres, wellness centres and hospitals of Centre as well as States would be covered under this scheme and approximately 22 lakh health workers would be provided insurance cover to fight this pandemic. Apart from this, 1 kg of the preferred pulse will also be provided per household for the next three months- this will be over and above what they get already under the scheme, announced Sitharaman. This will benefit about 20 crore account holders.

"Farmers who now receive Rs 6,000 annually, will be given the first installment of the next financial year immediately".

A total of Rs 20.40 crores PMJDY women account-holders would be given an ex-gratia of Rs.500 per month for next three months.

Beneficiaries of the Ujjwala scheme: 80 million households benefitted from the gas cylinders provided under the scheme.

With regard to MGNREGs, the wages paid out under the programme have been increased from Rs 182 to Rs 202 per day.

This will help them by additional credit availability.

The minister said the government will front-load Rs 2,000 payment to farmers in the first week of April under the existing PM Kishan Yojana to benefit 8.69 crore farmers.

An insurance scheme for the health workers was also announced by the Finance Minister.

Approximately, Rs 5,600 Crores will be spent for this objective. This is applicable for those establishments which have up to 100 employees and 90% of them earn less that ₹15,000.

The FM said that the provident fund scheme regulations will be amended which will allow workers under EPFO to draw up to 75 per cent of their non-refundable advance or 3 months of wages, whichever is lower. This will benefit about 7 crore households.

The finance minister also said that the government of India will pay the Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) contribution, both of employer and employee, put together 24% of an employee's basis salary, for next 3 months.

Directions will be given to State Governments to utilize the amount of Rs 31,000 crores lying in the Building and Construction Workers Welfare Fund to help 3.5 crores registered workers.

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