Finance Minister To Address Media Shortly, May Announce Stimulus Package

Coronavirus package Govt to amend Provident Fund regulations to aid EPFO members

"Now we have come with a package which immediately take care of the welfare concerns of the poor and suffering workers and those who need immediate help", Sitharaman said. As per existing norms, each BPL family will get 5 kg of rice or wheat free. In addition to rice or wheat, each household will get 1 kg of preferred dal for free for the next three months.

This distribution will be done through Public Distribution Scheme (PDS).

India has announced a $22.6bn economic stimulus plan that provides direct cash transfers and ensures food security measures, offering relief to millions of poor people hit by a nationwide lockdown to withstand the coronavirus pandemic.

A financial package worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore was announced which was divided into two parts: Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Samman Yojna and Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Samman Anna Yojna. "We will now give first installment as front-loaded matter, which will give farmers Rs 2000 upfront, benefiting 8.7 crore farmers".

For poor widows and the aged, an ex-gratia transfer of Rs 1,000 will be done for the next three months, in two instalments. This will benefit 5 crore families, and will result in an additional ₹2,000 given per worker.

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Moreover, an exgratia amount of Rs 500 per month for the next three months to be transferred through direct bank transfer to 20 crore women Jan Dhan account holders to fight the coronavirus better.

Families of four crore workers registered under EPF can take benefit of this window.

The Centre will pay the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) contribution, the 12 per cent each of both the employer and employee, for the next three months so that, in the words of the finance minister, "nobody suffers on account of a break in continuity". The scheme provides ₹6000 per year.

To help small companies facing the threat of defaults due to coronavirus-related lockdown, the government raised the threshold that would trigger insolvency proceedings to Rs 1 crore from current Rs 1 lakh. For all those establishments that have up to 100 employees and 90% of whom earn less than Rs 15,000 per month. As many as 20 crore women are expected to benefit. Besides the poor, the scheme also keeps other marginalised sections of the society in mind - such as women, pensioners and the differently-abled.

One of the benefits is free LPG cylinders for the next three months for 8.3 crore families below the poverty line. Collateral-free loan will be doubled to Rs 20 lakh to 63 lakh women self-help groups, impacting 7 crore households.

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