NEW DELHI :
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said that the financial package announced by the government was the first step in the right direction towards providing relief to those who are bearing the brunt of lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
"The Govt announcement today of a financial assistance package is the first step in the right direction. India owes a debt to its farmers, daily wage earners, labourers, women and the elderly who are bearing the brunt of the ongoing lockdown," Gandhi said in a tweet.
The Congress has been demanding an economic package in view of the coronavirus spread and the subsequent lockdown. On Thursday, party interim president Sonia Gandhi wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding the implementation of its proposed Nyay scheme and aid for the health workers.
The Finance Minister announced an economic relief package of ₹1.7 lakh crore for the poor and migrant workers under the Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan Yojana.
The package focuses on providing food and money to the poor to help them overcome the problems in the wake of the COVID-19 spread and the lockdown.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday also announced that doctors, paramedics, nurses, 'Asha' workers, cleaning workers involved in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and treating affected patients would be extended a medical insurance cover of ₹50 lakh each.
Addressing the media here, Sitharaman said that the scheme will help 20 lakh health professionals and workers across the country, in case they want to avail of it.