World Bank’s helping hand for India; gives this much more cash for country’s poor, weaker sections

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Published: May 15, 2020 11:39 AM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Jan Dhan Yojana, along with Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme is set to play a major role in filling the gap between the World Bank and the people in need.

$1 billion support package, world bank aid for india, coronavirus funds for indiaWith the latest announcement, the Bank has now pledged a financial help of $2 billion, including $1 billion announced last month towards immediate support to India’s health sector.

The World Bank has stepped up to help India in protecting its poor and vulnerable sections of the society. In a major aid for providing social assistance to the weaker sections, the World Bank has approved an additional $1 billion financial aid towards ‘Accelerating India’s COVID-19 Social Protection Response Program’ in the wake of disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. With the latest announcement, the Bank has now pledged a financial help of $2 billion, including $1 billion announced last month towards immediate support to India’s health sector. The approved amount will reach India in two tranches – an immediate allocation of $750 million for 2020 and the remaining $250 million for 2021.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Jan Dhan Yojana, along with Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme is set to play a major role in filling the gap between the World Bank and the people in need. Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) will take the front seat as the first phase of the operation will be implemented countrywide through this scheme. The aim is to immediately help scale-up cash transfers and food benefits, using a core set of pre-existing national platforms and programs such as the Public Distribution System (PDS) and DBT.

Also Read: Modi govt’s answer to migrant workers, street vendors crisis too little, too late; this issue remains

The move is also expected to provide robust social protection for essential workers involved in coronavirus relief efforts and benefit vulnerable groups, particularly migrants and informal workers, who face a major risk of being excluded from PMGKY. On the other hand, the second phase is set to be delivered through the state governments in the form of more social protection packages, increasing cash, and fulfilling local needs.

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The World Bank has extended support towards India by citing the severity of weak financial conditions across a larger portion of the population. It has pointed out that half of India’s population earns less than $3 a day and is very close to the poverty line, which makes social protection a critical investment in this unfortunate time.

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