The central government has come out with a Rs 1.7 lakh crore Covid response and lockdown package to insulate the economy and the people from Pandemic caused unrest. Most part of the measures announced by the Finance Minister Ms Nirmala Sitharaman goes for providing food and cash transfer to the poor and vulnerable.

An important ingredient of the package is the medical coverage for the medical persons working in government hospitals.

FM’s new package has been announced under the newly launched Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Yojana. The programme aims to alleviate the financial pain faced by migrant workers, farmers, urban and rural poor and women.

India is at present undergoing a 21-day lock down to keep the Covid disease away.

Medical protection to health persons

The package give protection to the thousands of health workers who are risking their life on the pandemic fighting front. According to the FM, there are about 2.2 million health professionals fighting the Covid-19 outbreak, including doctors, nurses, ASHA workers, paramedics, sanitation workers etc. The package will provide medical insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh per person.

Additional incentives for MGNREGA workers

Under the PM Kisan scheme, the first instalment of Rs 2,000 will be transferred to the accounts of 86.9 million farmers in April itself.

For the MGNREGA workers, regular wages will be hiked from Rs 182 per day to Rs 202 per day. This is expected to benefit 50 million families.

Senior citizens and vulnerable people

For the eligible senior citizens, widows and handicapped, a one-time transfer of Rs 1,000 will be provided in two instalments over the next three months. This will benefit 30 million people.

Free refilling of gas cylinders will be provided for three months and this will benefit 80 mn households.

For the low-income workers, the govt will pay 24% EPFO contribution for 3 months. Similarly, Rs 31,000 cr fund will be set apart for 35 mn construction workers.

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