“No one will go hungry,” says Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Announced Rs 1.7 lakh crore COVID-19 economic package

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s economic package to tackle the crisis amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Finance minister said, “Hopefully, we would be able to contain the virus in this period.” Announcing there will be Rs 50 lakh insurance per health care worker as a medical insurance cover for them for three months which include doctors, nurses, paramedics, Asha workers. As per Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Ann Yojna which covers 80 cr poor people (2/3rd of India’s population) for next 3 months in addition to already allotted 5 kilos of rice/wheat per person, an additional 5 kilo will be free and additional 1-kilo pulse based on regional preference will be given. She also announced that Installment of Rs 2000 in the first week of April will be transferred through direct cash transfers which will immediately benefit 8.69 crore farmers along with

 3 crore people covered, one-time amount of additional Rs 1000 in two installments through DBT (hence no middlemen) over 3 months to be given to Old age, Divyang, and pensioners and wage increase in MGNREGA which will benefit  5 crore families, a raise of Rs 2000 per worker on average as additional income.

Govt of India will also pay the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) contribution, both employer and employee, put together it will be 24%, for the next 3 months. This is only for those establishments which have up to 100 employees and 90% of them earn less than 15,000. Govt is also ready to amend the regulation of EPF due to this pandemic so that workers can draw up to 75% non-refundable advance from credit in PF account or 3 months salary, whichever is lower.

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