Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announces Rs 1.7 lakh crore coronavirus package; 11 big announcements that may impact you


Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced a financial package of Rs 1.7 lakh crore to help people deal with the stress due to coronavirus pandemic. Addressing the media, Sitharaman said that her government was ready for the poor, who were in desperate need of help, adding that ‘no one will go hungry.’

Nirmala Sitharaman

The fund has been allocated under what Sitharaman said was Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan scheme. Sitharaman said that her government may make more announcements responding to new ground realities in the future. “I will gradually address if there’s more to attend to,” Nirmala Sitharaman said.

Here are the highlights of her announcement:

  • The Provident Fund Scheme regulations will be amended because of #CoronavirusOutbreak Workers can draw 75% of deposit or 3-month wages, whichever is lower, as non-refundable advance. Will benefit 4.8 crore workers registered with EPFO
  • Government of India will pay the EPF contribution – of both employer and employee (10% each) – for the next three months, so that nobody suffers due to loss of continuity in EPF contribution for all such establishments which have less than 100 employees, out of which 90% of whom draw less than 15000 rupees per month as wages/salary
  • Collateral-free loans for Self Help Groups can now be obtained up to 20 lakh rupees, this will benefit 63 lakh SHGs and have an impact on 7 crore households
  • 8.3 crore BPL families to benefit from Government’s decision to give free LPG cylinders to woman beneficiaries of Ujjwala scheme
  • 20 crore woman Jan Dhan account holders to be given ex-gratia amount of 500 rupees per month for the next three months, to run the affairs of their household
  • One-time amount of 1000 rupees to be given to senior citizens, widows and Divyang people, in two installments over the next three months Expected to benefit 3 crore people
  • Wage increase from 182 rupees to 202 rupees, under MGNREGA, resulting in an additional income of 2000 rupees, benefitting 5 crore families
  • The first installment under PM Kisan Samman Nidhi will be frontloaded, giving immediate benefit to 8.69 crore farmers
  • 80 crore people will benefit from this scheme, under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana
  • In addition to the 5 kg of wheat/rice, each person to get additional 5 kg of wheat / rice per person for free for next three months; additional 1 kg of pulses to be given for each household so that no poor person goes hungry
  • We are providing an insurance cover of 50 lakh rupees per person to frontline #CoronaWarriors – ASHA workers, paramedics, doctors, nurses, sanitary workers – who are putting their lives at risk & treating #Coronavirus patients