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Government – The knight in shining armour

At the offset of lockdown, many people were sceptical about their livelihood and sustenance; there were uncertainties about ‘what next?’. At such a tense hour, the Government came as a saviour to the people, and a Rs. 1.7 lakh crore financial package was announced, providing free food and cash transfers to the poorest citizens who were affected adversely during this pandemic.

The package provided the following reliefs:

  • Insurance cover of Rs. 50 lakhs per person for doctors and medical workers fighting COVID-19

  • Provision of 5kg wheat or rice and 1kg of pulses, for free, for a period of 3 months to 80 crore poor people

  • Increase in MGNREGA wage to Rs. 202 per day from Rs. 182 for 13.62 crore families

  • 20.4 crore Jan Dhan women accountholders to get Rs. 500 per month for a period of 3 months

  • Ex-gratia of Rs. 1000 to 3 crore senior citizens, disabled and widows among the poor

  • Front-load of Rs. 2000 to 8.7 crore farmers under the existing PM Kisan Yojana

  • Free cylinders to 8.3 crore families that are below the poverty line, for a period of 3 months

  • Wage-earners below Rs. 15000 per month in businesses having less than 100 workers received 24% of their monthly wages in their PF accounts for a period of 3 months

  • The Central Government directed the State Governments to use the Construction Workers Welfare Fund to give relief to 3.5 crore registered workers

In these testing times, an assurance is required that we will get through it, and we’ll do it together. The Government has given this much needed assurance!

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