The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced an economic package that will be known as the Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan scheme worth Rs 1.76 trillion. The Scheme will be in two silos - one food related and one for cash transfer - largely under direct benefit transfer (DBT), she added.
The government will provide free rice/wheat and pulses to poor for the next three months, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said during a press briefing on March 26. The finance minister announced, "each person will get 5 kg of rice or wheat (as per choice) over and above the existing 5 kg of rice/wheat being given." "Besides this, 1 kg of pulse/dal (as per regional preferences) will also be given per household so that no gareeb remains without food," Sitharaman added. "These can be availed in two installments," she added.
The FM announced 8.3 crore families below poverty line will get free LPG cylinders for three months. Besides, there are 63 lakh self-help groups for women in the country. They get up to Rs 10 lakh collateral-free loans right now. We are doubling that to Rs 20 lakh. Women Jan Dhan account holders to get Rs 500 per month for the next three months, she added.
Centre will pay the EPF contribution both, of the employer and of the employee (12 percent each) for the next three months. This is for all those establishments that have up to 100 employees and 90 percent of whom earn under Rs 15,000 per month. Provident scheme regulations will be amendment to allow non-refundable advance of 75 percent or three months' wages, whichever is lower. This will benefit 4.8 crore workers who are registered with the EPF.
Today's measures are aimed at reaching out to the poorest, we will obviously think about other things, the finance minister said. This is her second such address in three days. On March 24, the finance minister had announced multiple measures on statutory and compliance matters in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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