The coronavirus has taken the world by storm. Almost all countries are reeling from the effect and people are on complete lockdown in most areas. Till date, half a million people have gotten the virus worldwide. While most of them have recovered, there is still a significant percentage of people who have lost their lives. In India, there are over 600 cases and 16 people have died due to the virus. While the corona relief plan is the most
In a country with India’s population, if the virus is not contained it could spread to millions of people and thousands will be dead. But the government has done so far so good. The country is under a 21-day lockdown to prevent further spreading of the virus. The corona relief plans were formatted yesterday by the Finance Minister
Corona relief plans
India has taken a lot of steps to reduce the suffering of people in these tough times. India’s finance minister Mrs Nirmala Sitharaman has announced various schemes to help people combat the prevailing situation.
Previously, the government offered relaxations and extended deadlines for the income tax and GST. The finance minister extended the last date for filing income tax returns from March 31 to June 30. The interest rates on delayed payment of taxes have also been lowered to 9 per cent from existing 12 and 18 per cent. The last date for linking aadhar card with pan card has also been extended up to June 30.
The finance minister met with the press today and announced a series of measures to help the people. She informed banking services will now be operational throughout the lockdown. She further mentioned today’s meet is for people who are in immediate need of food money and cooking gas.
Highlights of Speech
- PM Gareeb kalyan scheme will be worth of rupees 1.7 lakh crore
- This includes cash transfer and food supplies.
- It provides an insurance worth of rupees 50 lakhs for sanitation workers, doctors, nurses, paramedics and others who are helping contain the coronavirus.
- Apart from the 5 kg rice that is already provided with another 5 kg of rice/wheat will be provided per person for free. One kg of pulse depending on the region will also be provided entirely for free. This system plans to feed at least 80 crore people which is approximately three-quarters of the country.
- Under direct cash transfer through DBT, farmers will initially get rupees 2000 of PM Kisan in the first week of April. Estimated 8.69 crore farmers will get immediate benefit from this.
- Increase in wage rate from rupees 182 to rupees 202 per worker per day that benefits 5 crore people.
Measures for Corona Relief
- Senior citizens and widows to get an amount of rupees 1000 for the next three months. This will be available in two instalments which will benefit 5 crore widows and senior citizens.
- Women Jan Dhan account holders to get rupees 500 per month for the next three months. This will benefit 20 crore women.
- Women ujjawala scheme holders will get free cylinders for the next three months. This will help 8.3 crore families which are below the poverty line.
- Under the deen Dayal national livelihood mission, the collateral-free loan will be given up to rupees 20 lakhs. Previously only rupees 10 lakhs can be loaned. This should do 7 crore people, some help.
- For the organized sector, EPFO regulation will be amended so that workers can get three months of their wages in advance to combat the crisis. This benefits 4.8 crore workers.
- The government of India will pay the organized sector’s employer and employee both 24 per cent for the next three months. This is active in establishments that employ up to 100 workers. 90 per cent of these people earn less than rupees 15000 per month.
- The central government has directed the respective state governments to help construction workers with a total of 31000 crore rupees who are facing tough times with the country in a lockdown state.
- Use the funds available under district mineral fund for medical purposes such as screening, providing health care etc.
So far, the government has done very well in providing reliefs as well as containing the coronavirus. The finance ministry and the central government is under immense pressure to stabilize both the virus threat and the economical downfall because of it. These above mentioned are only temporary solutions. If the situation prevails over a longer period of time than estimated then the government will surely give more reliefs to the people.
Whether the coronavirus lockdown ends as soon as possible or exists over a longer period of time rests in the people’s hands. The government can only do a little about it. We must make sure to follow the necessary protocols and take precautions to keep ourselves and our family friends safe from this virus.