Modi's FM announces Rs 1.70 lakh crore worth package

Modi's FM announces Rs 1.70 lakh crore worth package

As expected, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced an economic package worth Rs 1.70 lakh crore as a cushion for the poor in these unprecedented times of a nation-wide 21-day lockdown.  

Here are some of the major highlights of the welcome package:

Under Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Ann Yojna, 80 crore poor people will get extra allocations for the next three months.  "In addition to 5Kg of rice/wheat per person, an additional 5kg will be free. Additional 1kg pulse (as per regional preferences) will be given," the FM said today.  The scheme covers 2/3rd of India's population.  

Old age people, differently-abled ones, and pensioners, who number 3 crore, will receive a one-time allocation amount of additional Rs 1,000 in two installments through Direct Benefit Transfer over 3 months.  

About 3 crore poor senior citizens, poor widows and poor disabled people will get Rs 1,000 ex-gratia amount.  

Female holders of Jan Dhan accounts will get an ex-gratia amount of Rs 500 per month for 3 months.

Construction workers, who are as many as 3.5 crore, will get allocations from the Rs 31,000 crore-worth District Mineral Fund.

Women Self-Help Groups, together which cover more than seven crore households, see collateral-free loans doubled to 20 lakh.

In order to help manufacturing and service units, the Government will pay the Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) contribution, both of employer and employee, for the next 3 months.  "This is for those establishments which have up to 100 employees and 90% of them earn less than Rs 15,000 per month," the FM said.

Besides the above, there are many other announcements as part of the package.