Averting impacts of COVID 19, the Indian government has recently proclaimed a financial package for Indian natives. The fiscal package covers various severely hit sectors in its entirety. A few days ago, the Finance Minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman had announced a slew of effective measures for individuals and corporations who are dealing with monetary issues.
In the similar vein, Sitharaman shares an extensive fiscal package comprising diverse sections of the Indian economic class such as farmers, expectant women and paupers. The fiscal package values INR 1.7 lakh crore and primarily invests in food security as well as cash transfer, reported The Economic Times.
Under the fiscal package, the center is offering insurance cover worth INR 50 lakh for ASHA workers, doctors, nurses, sanitation workers and paramedics. These professionals are insured as they are chiefly combating this disease by offering relentless healthcare services
Looking after poor sections of the society, who struggle fulfilling their basic amenities during this time, the center has allowed them another 5 kg wheat or rice apiece, beside over and above 5 kg offered so far. Nearly 80 crore people will be covered through PDS. These poor sections are being offered an additional one Kg pulse as per their choice.
To aid the rural population, primarily farmers and individuals under MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi Employment Guarantee Act 2005), the government has mapped down some fiscal plans. It is paying the first premium of INR 2000 of PM Kisan plan to farmers. This will take place in the first week of April and will give direct benefit to 8.69 crore farmers.
Coming to labour workers, the center has increased their wage rate tremendously from INR 182 to INR 202 to INR 2000 per worker, at present, in turn, giving benefits to 5 crore masses under MNREGA scheme.
Weaker sections such as old aged people and widows are offered an “ex gratia” sum of INR 1000 for the coming three months, which will be disbursed in two premiums. This plan will help 3 crore old aged people as well as widows.
Women, who are possessing Jan Dhan accounts, will be also offered an additional INR 500 per month for the coming 3 months. This scheme, in turn, will aid 20 crore women.
To keep women self help groups (SHGs) afloat, under Deen Dayal National Livelihood Mission, the government is offering collateral free loans, starting from INR 10 lakh initially and extending it to INR 20 lakh. This move will be advantageous to 7 crore holders via 63 lakh SHGs, according to the cited media agency.
Looking upon the need of fuel for cooking food, the government has decided to offer free cylinders for three months under the Women Ujjawala scheme. The beneficiaries of this scheme will be 8.3 crore BPL families.
As per the government’s decision, it will pay EPF (Employee Provident Fund) contribution both of the employee as well as employer concerted together 24 per cent for the coming three months, as per the cited media agency. This plan covers those firms having an employee base of at most 100, and 90 per cent of the employee base’s remuneration is less than INR 15,000.
The government has further amended Employee Provident Fund Organization’s (EPFO) regulation so that working professionals can take up to 75 per cent for their “contingency expenditure non-refundable advance or three months of wages in advance whichever is less.”
This scheme will help 4.8 crore workers.
The central government has asked the state government to employ the welfare fund for building and construction workers, which amount to be INR 31,000 crore to aid those who are facing problems due to lockdown.
The central government has also asked to employ funds under the district mineral fund for examining activities, medical screening, and rendering health attention to combat the disease epidemic.
The said financial package is not adequate with current demands of general masses. Problems like decrease in economic activity and inefficient delivery of essential items and food amid lockdown have not been given much food for thought. Individuals, and corporations operating in the country still await for a larger stimulus plan.