COVID-19 relief: ₹50L insurance for healthcare staff, ration for poor

Govt to pay employee, employer contribution to PFs for 3 months for establishments with 90% staff with ₹15,000 wage

Nirmala Sitharaman
The Nirmala Sitharaman-led Finance Ministry clarified that there will no cuts in pension disbursements (PTI file)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday (March 26) announced an economic package to minimise the economic impact of the lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak, on citizens, especially from the poor strata of society.

Here’s a list of the announcements made by the finance minister:

  • ₹50 lakh per person insurance cover for doctors, paramedic, healthcare workers dealing with coronavirus outbreak
  • Free 5 kg rice or wheat and 1 kg preferred pulses for 80 crore poor people per month for next three months
  • ₹1.70 lakh crore Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan scheme to help the needy
  • Government to front-load ₹2,000 paid to farmers in first week of April under existing PM Kishan Yojana to benefit 8.69 crore farmers
  • MNREGA wage to be increased to ₹202 a day from ₹182 to benefit five crore families
  • Ex-gratia of ₹1,000 to three crore poor senior citizens, poor widows and poor disabled
  • 20 crore women Jan Dhan Account holders to get ₹500 per month for next three months to help them run their households
  • Ujjwala beneficiaries to get free LPG cylinders in next three months; this will benefit 8.3 crore BPL families
  • Collateral-free loan doubled to ₹20 lakh to 63 lakh women self-help groups; this will impact seven crore households
  • Government to pay employee, employer contribution to PFs for three months for establishments with 90% of staff with ₹15,000 wage
  • Workers will be allowed to draw non-refundable advance of 75% from credit in PF accounts or three months’ salary, whichever is lower

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