To ensure that BPL families do not run short of cooking mediums, the Union minister announced free cylinders for three months to almost 8.3 crore families under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.
"She also said that 80 crore poor people, almost two thirds of the population will get five kg of rice or wheat per month for three months, in addition to the 5 kg they already receive, for free". Besides, one kg of pulse for each one household will also be given.
"Farmers get Rs 6,000 annually from PM Kisan Yojana".
Under PM Garib Kalyan yojana, gas cylinders, free of cost, would be provided to 8 crore poor families for the next three months.
Also, the daily wage under MNREGA has been increased to Rs 202 a day from Rs 182 to benefit 5 crore workers. This will benefit 3.5 crore registered workers. Social distancing norms must be followed at MGNREGA worksites during this period. This amount will be transferred in two installments over the next three months and is expected to benefit 3 crore people.
The Centre on Thursday announced a Rs 170,000 crore worth of relief package to protect the weaker sections of the society from the economic fallout of COVID-19, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.
Collateral-free loans to 63 lakh Women Self-Help Groups to be doubled from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh. Thirty million people will reportedly benefit and the transfers will be done through the direct benefits transfer (DBT) route.
The Union government will pay the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) contribution of both the employer and employee (12% each) for the next three months so that nobody suffers because of loss of continuity of EPF.
On the other hand, Maruti, Reliance Industries, NTPC and Sun Pharma were among the top laggards. "This is for those establishments which have upto 100 employees and 90 per cent of them earn less that 15,000", she said, as quoted by news agency ANI.
News agency ANI, quoting a senior Finance Ministry official, said a task force has also been formed to give suggestions to the Finance Ministry and top officials are intensively working on the plan. Various state governments would be able to use funds from this to help conduct tests and other medical expenditures to battle the coronavirus pandemic. After the amendment, workers under EPFO will be allowed to to draw up to 75% of their non-refundable advance or 3 months of wages, whichever is lower.