COVID-19 slowdown: FM Sitharaman announces stimulus; here are the top takeaways

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced a slew of measures for the poor to deal with the economic distress caused due lockdown amid this coronavirus crisis. Here are the highlights of the government’s stimulus to fight the COVID-19 slowdown.

Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan Scheme

The finance minister announced “Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan Scheme” with a total outlay of Rs 1.70 lakh crore for the poor and those who need immediate help. The package is expected to benefit migrant workers and rural and urban poor people. Read more 

Withdraw up to 75% of EPF contribution

EPFO subscribers can withdraw 75 percent of balance or 3-month wages as non-refundable advance, whichever is lower. This will benefit 80 lakh employees of nearly 4 lakh establishments. Read more

Govt to contribute EPF share for 3 months…

The government will pay the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) contribution for both employer and employees for the next three months, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Thursday. However, this will benefit only the establishments with up to 100 employees where 90 percent earn less than Rs 15,000 per month, she said. Read more

Insurance cover for corona warriors

The finance minister also announced a Rs 50 lakh insurance cover for healthcare workers who are at the forefront of dealing with coronavirus pandemic. This includes doctors, paramedic and healthcare workers, she said. Read more

MGNREGA wages hiked by Rs 2,000

The central government also approved a hike in wages for workers under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). The move, which will provide each worker with an additional income of Rs 2000, will benefit five crore families across the country. Read more

Free food grains for 80 crore poor Indians

In addition to the already allotted 5 kg of rice/wheat per person, further 5 kg will be provided for free. Additionally, 1 kg pulse (according to regional preference) will be given, the finance minister announced. The scheme covers two-thirds of the Indian population. Read more

Track our full coverage of the cornavirus pandemic here.

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