‘Free LPG cylinder for 3 months to 8.3cr families’

NEW DELHI: Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced a comprehensive economic package to deal with the impact of deadly coronavirus outbreak. Earlier on Tuesday, Sitharaman had relaxed timelines for filing income tax (I-T) returns and raised default thresholds for invoking bankruptcy proceedings.
Here are the top updates from the finance minister’s briefing:
* Rs 1.7 lakh crore package is for those who are in “immediate need” with an aim to get money in their hands
* Insurance cover: Rs 50 lakh per person for frontline warriors (sanitation, ASHA or government workers)
* Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana: 5 kg of wheat/rice per person will be given for next three months in addition to the 5 kg which is already given; 1 kg of pulse per household
* Cash transfer based on DBT (direct benefit transfer):
i) Farmers who get Rs 6,000 annually under PM-Kisan will get first inslatment of Rs 2,000 in addition which will be given immediately in the first week of April.
ii) MGNREGA: Wages under the scheme has been increased (Rs 2,000 per worker on average as additional income)
iii) Widow, poor widows, poor, ‘divyang’ and senior citizens: Ex-gratia Rs 1,000 (to be given in two instalment)
iv) Women Jan Dhan Yojana: Ex-gratia amount of Rs 500 per month (next three months)
v) Ujjawala Scheme: For next three months, free cylinders will be given to those who are enrolled in the scheme
vi) Self-help group women dealing with livelihood missions: Amount increased to Rs 20 lakh from Ra 10 lakh
vii) Organised sector: Govt to pay EPF contribution (both employer and employee) for next three month for those establishments which have up to a 100 employees and 90% employees earning less than Rs 15,000
Workers can withdraw up to 75% from the PF funds (non-refundable advance) or three months of wages (whichever is lower)
viii) Constructions workers: The Centre directed state governments to use fund of Rs 31,000 crore to provide relief
ix) District mineral fund: State government can use the fund to tackle the coronavirus spread
The finance minister mentioned that these measures and allocations will be done on an “immediate” basis.

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