Centre announces relief package of Rs 1.7 lakh cr for poor

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced an economic bailout package to tide over the impact of coronavirus.

“The government is working so that those impacted directly like migrant workers can be helped,” said Nirmala.

“We don’t want anyone to remain hungry. The package is worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore via cash transfer and food subsidy.”

She added that the Prime Minister 'Gareeb Kalyan' scheme will help 1,70,00 crore migrants and poor people.

Under the newly launched PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojna, 80 crore people will get five kg of wheat or rice each month for next three months for free of cost above the 5 kg which they already get.

Besides, one kg of pulse for each one household will also be given.

Nirmala said the first instalment of Rs 2,000 under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi or PM Kishan scheme will be transferred to the accounts of 8.69 crore farmers in April.

The scheme provides Rs 6000 per year.

The government has also hiked regular wages to Rs 202 per day from Rs 182 per day under the MGNREGA, benefitting 5 crore families. The hike in wages is likely to result in additional income of Rs 2,000 per worker.

The finance minister also announced a one-time payment of Rs 1,000 to elderly poor, widows in two instalments over the next three months.

This would benefit three crore people.

The government also announced a one-time transfer of Rs 500 per month to Jan Dhan accounts of 20 crore women over the next three months.