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Nirmala Sitharaman's Relief Package: Top Takeaways

Nirmala SitharamanUnion Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
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In the wake of the 21 day nationwide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday night, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on ...

In the wake of the 21 day nationwide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday night, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday, announced a wide range of measures targeting the poor and marginalised during this period. The comprehensive economic package for the next three months under Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Yojna, amounting to Rs.1.70 lakh crore, would help the disadvantaged segments of society including migrant workers and women tide over the current crisis due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in India, the Finance Minister said.

What does this economic package announced by Nirmala Sitharaman mean? Here are the top few takeaways:

• 80 crore poor people across the country will now get an additional five kgs of rice or wheat and one kg pulse of their choice free every month for the next three months.

MNREGA wage-earners would now get Rs. 202 instead of Rs.182. Five crore families would stand to benefit from this enhancement.

• The Union Finance Minister announced Rs. 50 lakh insurance cover for healthcare professionals. This insurance cover is meant for doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, Asha and sanitation workers in the frontline during the COVID-19 outbreak.

• First instalment of Rs. 2,000 under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Yojna will be transferred immediately benefitting 8.3 crore farmers.

• BPL Ujjwala Yojana beneficiaries numbering 8.3 crore will get free cylinders for the next three months.

• 7 crore households will benefit from an immediate collateral free loan which would be doubled from Rs.10 lakhs to Rs.20 lakhs to 63 lakh women's self-help groups.

• In the organised sector, the government will pay the EPF contribution both of the employer and employee for the next three months amounting to 12% each. This is meant for such establishments which have up to 100 employees and in which 90% of the employees earn less than Rs.15000 per month.

• The government will utilise Rs. 31,000 crore welfare fund for building and construction workers which will benefit 3.5 crore registered workers.

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