‘No one will remain hungry’; govt brings in food, cash relief as coronavirus takes toll on workers

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Updated: Mar 26, 2020 2:20 PM

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has come up with a Rs 1.7 lakh crore relief package for the daily wage earners, women workers and migrant workers as the country remains in a 21-day lockdown period.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman press conference latest updates amid coronavirus outbreak stimulus package for industry pm ModiFM Nirmala Sitharaman said that PM Garib Kalyan relief package will be distributed as cash transfers and food security.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has come up with a Rs 1.7 lakh crore relief package for the daily wage earners, women workers and migrant workers as the country remains in a 21-day lockdown period due to coronavirus outbreak. Addressing the media today, FM Nirmala Sitharaman said that PM Garib Kalyan relief package will be distributed as cash transfers and food security. “The government does not want anyone to remain hungry,” she said. “We have come with a package that will immediately help those affected directly, those migrants workers, urban and rural poor. We are looking both at cash transfers as well as food security measures,” Nirmala Sitharaman said.

The Finance Minister announced that an additional 5 kg of rice or wheat will be given for free by the government of India to the poor household in India. MoS Finance Anurag Thakur said that the government is fighting this emergency on a war footing. The government has also hiked the MNREGA wages from Rs 182 to Rs 202 a day. This is likely to benefit about five crore families. Those workers who fall under the essential service category such as doctors etc have also been given an insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh. “We are giving Rs 50 lakh insurance cover per person for the warriors who are exposing themselves to the virus. This includes workers, doctors, nurses etc,” FM said.

Attending to the organised sector under the Garib Kalyan Yojana, FM Sitharaman said that the government of India will pay the EPF contribution of both of the employer and employee at 12% plus 12%. “This will be paid by the the government for the next three months so that nobody suffers due to lack of continuity of the EPF,” she said. FM Sitharaman also said that this will be applicable to the establishments which have up to 100 employees who earn less than Rs 15,000 per month.

The government had earlier imposed a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Several industries such as restaurants etc are staring at massive revenue losses in the coming weeks as economy remains shut. Daily wage workers and migrant workers are especially hit with no backups.

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