To tackle the economic fall-out caused due to the coronavirus pandemic, the FM in her press conference on March 26, 2019 has come up with a slew of steps.
Earlier on Tuesday, the government allowed some statutory and compliance relaxations including extension of deadline for filing ITR for FY 2018-19, GST return for March, April and May, increasing threshold for initiation of insolvency proceedings to Rs. 1 crore and waiver on minimum balance requirements etc.
In her press release, the FM offered a bail-out as part of which:
1. Extended Rs. 1.7 lakh crore under PM Gareeb Kalyan Scheme. This will take care of both food security as well as include cash transfer
2. Also, the FM offered Rs. 50 lakh cover for health care workers helping in fighting covid19 infection including ASHA workers, sanitation workers, paramedics, doctors, nurses if at all they need it
3. Through public distribution system, in addition to 5 kg rice or wheat that is already being given, another 5 kg will be given per person Also, one kg of preferred or region-specific pulse will also be distributed per person.
Under the cash transfer, the FM has touched upon following eight aspects:
For farmers a sum of Rs. 2000 will be frontloaded. As many as 8.7 crore farmers will get this benefit before April first week.
Wages under MNREGA will be hiked that would benefit 5 crore families. Each worker will get Rs. 2000 as additional income.
3. Poor widows, pensioners and Divyang:
One time Ex-gratia of Rs 1,000. This shall be disbursed in two instalments over the next three months via DBT. The move will benefits 3 crore such people.
4. Women Jan Dhan Account Holders:
For the next 3 months, an ex-gratia sum of Rs. 500 per month will be transferred via DBT in fight against coronavirus. The move will benefit 20 crore Jan Dhan women account holders.
5. Women receive benefit as part of Ujjwala scheme:
Women as part of the scheme will be given LPG cylinder for free for the next 3 months. This would benefit close to 8.3 crore BPL households.
6. Self Help Groups or SHGs:
To combat Covid 19 better, amount of collateral free loans has been increased from the earlier Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh. From 63 lakh SHGs, 7 crore families would benefit.
7. Organised sector workers:
Under PM Garib Kalyan Yojana the government will pay the EPF contribution both, of the employee as well as employer i.e. 12% for the next 3 months. This will be for those set-ups which have up to 100 employees and 90% of them earn less than Rs. 15000
Further, EPFO rules will be changed for allowing subscribers under EPF to draw up to 75% of their non-refundable advance or 3 months of wages, whichever is lower.
8. Construction workers:
State governments advised to make use of Rs. 31,000 crore welfare fund 'Buildings and Other Construction Workers' Fund' for benefitting as many as 3.5 crore construction workers.