Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. (PTI)
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. (PTI)

Nirmala Sitharaman: Cash transfer, free LPG, grains, part of coronavirus package

  • Nirmala Sitharaman today announced a 1.7 lakh crore Gareeb Kalyan Yojana to help the poor tide over the coronavirus lockdown
  • The 21-day lockdown is expected to cost the Indian economy 9 lakh crore

NEW DELHI : To protect the poor from the economic impact of the 21-day nationwide lockdown, the Narendra Modi government today announced a 1.7 lakh crore Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan Yojana. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the relief package includes direct benefit cash transfers, free LPG, grains and pulses for the poor while the middle class would be able to withdraw funds from their Employees Provident Fund (EPF) account.

Announcements by Nirmala Sitharaman:

-After the announcement, Sensex was up 1,055.11 points or 3.70 per cent at 29,590.89. It rallied over 1,500 points in morning session. Similarly, the NSE Nifty stood 284.20 points, or 3.42 per cent, higher at 8,602.05 at 1430 hours.

-We have made provision so that bank branches can remain open: FM

-Building and construction workers: Central government has given orders to state governments to use funds of Rs31,000 crore to provide relief to them.

-The scheme comes into effect immediately. People will get the benefits from April 1: Sitharaman

-EPFO to allow 75% non-refundable advance or 3 months of wages whichever is lower: Sithraman.

-Ujjwala beneficiaries to get free cooking gas (LPG) cylinders in next three months; this will benefit 8.3 crore BPL families: FM.

-Collateral-free loan doubled to 20 lakh to 63 lakh women self-help groups; to impact 7 crore households.

-Government will pay EPF contribution, both of employer and employee, for 3 months for all those establishments with less than 100 employees out of which 90% earn less than 15,000 per month.

-Direct benefit cash transfers will benefit farmers, MGNREGA, poor widows, Pensioners & divyangs.

-An ex-gratia of 1,000 to 3 crore poor senior citizen, poor widows and poor disabled.

-Women Jan Dhan account holders: They will get an ex-gratia amount of 500 per month for 3 months to run household during this period.

-8.69 crore farmers to be immediately benefited through Direct cash transfers. Installment of 2000 in the first week of April will be transferred: Nirmala Sitharaman

-Every MNREGA worker to get hike of 2,000: Sitharaman

-We announce a wage increase in MNREGA. It will benefit 5 crore families: Sitharaman.

-The package will impact 80 crore people: FM

-No poor will be without food in his hand for the next 3 months: Sitharaman

-1 kg dal will also be given for free: FM

-Prime Minister Garib Ann Yojna will ensure that each one will get an additional 5 kg rice or wheat per month in addition to the existing scheme.

-Direct benefit transfer will be a part of the scheme: FM

-Health workers to get medical insurance cover of 50 lakh

-We do not want anyone to remain hungry: FM

- 1.7 lakh crore Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Yojna announced.

-We have now come with a package which will immediately take care of the welfare concerns and thse who need immediate help: Sitharaman

-FM presser begins.

-In Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has announced a 100 crore relief package for the poor.

-The cost of the COVID-19 lockdown has been pegged at 9 lakh crore or 4% of the GDP, according to a report by British brokerage Barclays.

-Sonia Gandhi has also urged the Centre to defer all EMI payments for 6 months.

-Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi has demanded that the Modi government must bring in a Minimum Income Guarantee Scheme, 'Nyay Yojana', proposed by the Congress to tackle the economic impact of coronavirus.

-The economic package might be used to put money directly into the accounts of more than 100 million poor and to support businesses hit the hardest by the lockdown, Reuters had reported earlier.

-A report by Nomura had said that nearly 75% of the Indian economy will be shutdown during the 21-day period. The lockdown will lead to a direct output loss of approximately 4.5%.

-The package will be focused on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and daily wage workers besides injecting liquidity in the market, ANI said.

-Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week had constituted a task force headed by the Finance Minister to work out package for economy hit by coronavirus.

-FM's press briefing is expected to start from 1 pm.

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