Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Relief Package launched to fight Coronavirus (COVID-19)


On March 26, 2020, Union Finance and Corporate Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitaraman announced a relief package of Rupees 1 lakh 70 thousand crores to help the poor and vulnerable citizens along with professionals in healthcare to fight the battle against coronavirus. While addressing the press conference she said that this package aims to reach out to the poorest of the poor, with food and money in hands, so that they do not face difficulties in buying essential supplies and meeting essential needs. Today’s article is all about the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package. 

Highlights of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Relief Package:

  • Insurance cover of Rs 50 Lakh per health worker fighting COVID-19 to be provided under Insurance Scheme
  • 80 crore poor people  to get 5 kg wheat or rice and 1 kg of preferred pulses for free every month for the next three months
  • 20 crore women Jan Dhan account holders to get Rs 500 per month for next three months
  • Increase in MNREGA wage to Rs 202 a day from Rs 182 to benefit 13.62 crore families
  • An ex-gratia of Rs 1,000 to 3 crore poor senior citizens, widows and disabled.
  • Government to front-load Rs 2,000 paid to farmers in the first week of April under existing PM Kisan Yojana to benefit 8.7 crore farmers
  • The Central Government has given orders to State Governments to use the Building and Construction Workers Welfare Fund to provide relief to Construction Workers.

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package consists of an insurance scheme for health workers, Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana and PM Garib Anna Yojana. Let’s understand the relief package in detail.

Insurance scheme for health workers fighting COVID-19 in Government Hospitals and Health Care Centres

This Special insurance Scheme has been launched to cover Safai karamcharis, ward-boys, nurses, ASHA workers, paramedics, technicians, doctors and specialists, and other health workers. 

Under the scheme, if any health professional meets with some accident while treating COVID-19 patients then he/she would be compensated with an amount of Rs 50 lakh. 

All government health centres, wellness centres and hospitals of Centre, as well as States, would be covered under this scheme

Approximately 22 lakh health workers would be provided insurance cover to fight this pandemic.

PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana

The government of India has launched this scheme to minimize the non-availability of food grains to any poor family for the next three months. 

Under this scheme, 80 crore individuals, i.e., roughly two-thirds of India’s population will be covered. Each one of them would be provided double of their current entitlement over the next three months. 

To ensure adequate availability of protein, 1 kg pulses per family, would be provided according to regional preferences for the next three months. This will be provided free of cost from the Government of India.

80 crores people would also get 5 kgs of wheat or rice for the next three months. 

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana

Benefit to farmers: The first installment of Rs 2,000 due in 2020-21 will be paid in April 2020 to those who were registered under the PM KISAN Yojana. This scheme would cover 8.7 crore farmers

An ex-gratia of Rs 500 per month for the next three months would be given to PMJDY women account-holders. A total of 20.40 crores has been allocated for this.

Gas cylinders: Free gas cylinders would be provided to 8 crore poor families for the next three months.

Low wage earners in organized sectors: Under this package, the government has proposed to pay 24 percent of their monthly wages into their PF accounts for the next three months. This for the Wage-earners who earn below Rs 15,000 per month in businesses. This would prevent disruption in their employment.

Support for senior citizens (above 60 years), widows and Divyang: Government of India will provide them an amount of Rs 1,000 during the next three months. There are around 3 crore aged widows and people in Divyang category who are vulnerable due to economic disruption caused by COVID-19.

MNREGA: Under PM Garib Kalyan Yojana, approximately 13.62 crore families will be benefited. MNREGA wages would be increased by Rs 20 with effect from 1 April, 2020 which means that per day wage under MNREGA would be Rupees 202 (it was rupees 182/day earlier). Under this scheme, an additional amount of Rs 2,000 benefits will be given to a worker annually. 

Self-Help groups: Women organized through 63 lakh Self Help Groups (SHGs) support 6.85 crore households. The limit of collateral-free lending would be increased from Rs 10 to Rs 20 lakhs.

Organised sector: Employees’ Provident Fund Regulations will be amended to include Pandemic as the reason to allow the non-refundable advance of 75 percent of the amount or three months of the wages, whichever is lower, from their accounts. Families of four crore workers registered under EPF can take benefit of this scheme.

Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Fund: Welfare Fund for Building and Other Constructions Workers has been created under a Central Government Act. There are around 3.5 Crore registered workers in the Fund. State Governments will be given directions to utilize this fund to provide assistance and support to these workers to protect them against economic disruptions.

District Mineral Fund (DMF): The State Government will be asked to utilize the funds available under District Mineral Fund (DMF) for supplementing and augmenting facilities of medical testing, screening and other requirements in connection with preventing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic as well as treating the patients affected with this pandemic.

This was all about the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan relief package announced by the Government of India. Make sure to note down the key highlights of the package. The probability of questions from this topic is extremely high so keep revising it in order to have an extra edge over your competitors. You can also attempt Free full-length mock tests on various exams related to Banking, SSC, Railways, and defense, etc. 

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Banking History of India

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