Nirmala Sitharaman Highlights: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced a slew of economic measures to support people to survive through coronavirus scare. The Finance Ministry said that under PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, Rs 2000 will be immediately front-leaded in the account of 8.7 crores farmers. FM Sitharaman has announced free of cost 5 kg rice or wheat, and 1 kg pulse under PM Garib Kalyan Package, while LPG cylinders will also be given free of cost to the beneficiaries of Ujjwala Yojana for the next three months. The minister also said that the announcements will come into effect immediately as, at this point, it is only focussing on reaching out to the people in need. While the government announced 20 crore woman Jan Dhan account holders to get an ex-gratia amount of Rs 500 per month for the next three months, it also doubled collateral-free loans to Rs 20 lakhs for Self Help Group women, helping 7 crore women. In other major announcements, an amendment to PF regulation, relief for construction workers, etc were included.
In the previous press conference, FM Sitharaman announced an extension of the deadline to file I-T, and GST returns, and that of Sabka Vishwas scheme to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses. Meanwhile, State Bank of India, Indian Bank, Uco Bank, Bank of India (BOI), and Union Bank of India (UBI), have announced emergency credit lines for quick loans.