A disease that has taken the world by storm, Coronavirus is humbling governments all across the globe. Various countries are now investing as much of their capital towards better healthcare as possible.
The Indian Government spearheaded by Narendra Modi has announced, amidst a vast majority of confused masses, a financial stimulus package worth ₹1.7 Lakh Crore (around $22 Billion). This scheme comes to distressed masses under the title, Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Yojana.
Coronavirus has led to economies worldwide to take an unprecedented plunge into the depths of Financial crisis hitherto unfelt since the Financial Recession of 2008. The group that ends up taking the worst hit from a falling economy is poor, and therefore the Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Yojana aims to soften that fall for those barely managing to make it from paycheck-to-paycheck.
Finance Minister discloses the Scheme
In testing times, the Finance Minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman stepped up to the occasion to elucidate the benefits that would come with the said scheme.
Here are the highlights of the Finance Minister’s disclosure of the scheme:
- The finance minister announced ₹50 lakh per person Medical insurance cover to those working in the medical field, who are on the line of fire, tending to those who need their services the most right now. In appreciation of their efforts, she said, “They are being called Gods in white costume.” This cover aims to target over 2 million medical personnel in the country.
- Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana: There would be a supply of food grains, which would be doubled and offered free of cost for the next three months to the underprivileged. Households can avail these benefits from their nearest ration shops
- Kisan Samman Nidhi: Under this scheme, farmers will be offered ₹6000 a year which would be frontloaded. Farmers will get the first installment (₹2000/-) by April 1, 2020.
- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme: Daily wage rate would be increased from ₹182 a day to ₹202 a day. This will continue even after the lockdown ends.
- ₹1000 would be given to 300 million poor senior citizens, poor widows and poor disabled, for whose sustenance is a major issue.
- 200 million women having Jan Dhan account with receive ₹500 for the next three months.
- Ujjwala scheme: 83 million people who benefit from this would be given free cooking cylinders for the next three months.
- Women self-help groups: 6.3 million groups will get collateral-free loans and the amount would be doubled from ₹10 lakh to ₹20 lakhs.
- Firms with over 100 employees (if 90% of the staff earns less than ₹15000 a month) the government will look after the provident fund contribution of the company for the next three months.
- Employee Provident Fund Scheme will allow the non-fundable advance to 7% existing corpus or three month’s wages (whichever is lower).
- Welfare fund for construction workers will send forth state governments to help these out-of-work workers.
To leave you with this thought
With these emergency measures in place, the Indian Government aims to take care of the issue at hand. Sound economic decisions on behalf of the government, and proper hygiene practices and adherence to the protocol from your end can ensure we get out of this least scathed.