At a press briefing on economic relief measures by the Central Government amid COVID-19 pandemic, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced that 8.3 crore families below poverty line (BPL) will get free LPG cylinders for three months. The government will allocate Rs 13,000 crore for this purpose.
Further, the collateral-free loan limit for the 63 lakh self-help groups of women in the country was doubled from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh. Those holding Women Jan Dhan accounts will get Rs 500 per month for the next three months.
Sitharaman also said that poor senior citizens, widows and 'divyangs' will receive Rs 1,000 over the next three months.
These announcements have been made in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that has called for a government-imposed lockdown of 21 days to curb the spread of the outbreak which has already affected 649 people in India already. India's death toll is at 13.
Latest data released by the Union Health Ministry showed that Maharashtra has reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases so far at 124, followed by Kerala at 118.