Coronavirus update: Finance minister announces special package

Food and cash transfer announced under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana

By DTE Staff
Published: Thursday 26 March 2020

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a special package to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19): 

  • Rs 50 lakh cover for two million frontline workers such as paramedics, sanitation workers, ASHA workers, etc.
  • Free 5 kg cereal (rice / wheat) per person per month; 1 kg pulses (differing according to regions) per household per month for the next three months.
  • The allotment, expected to benefit 800 million families, can be collected in two instalments.
  • Sitharaman announced a Rs 1.7 lakh crore package to benefit eight categories. 
  • First PM-KISAN instalment of Rs 2,000 per indivisdual to be released at the beginning of the year to benefir 86.9 million farmers. 
  • MNREGA wages hiked to Rs 202; agricultural work to be exempted from lockdown wherever needed as long as social-distancing norms are followed.
  • FM expects this measure to help 50 million families earn at least Rs 2,000 / month. 
  • Rs 1,000 ex gratia in two instalments over three months for 30 million poor senior citizens, widows and differently abled people.
  • Rs 500 per month for three months each to 200 million women Jan Dhan account holders. 
  • Free LPG cylinders to 83 million families for three months.
  • Collateral-free loans to be doubled to Rs 20 lakh each for women under self-help groups.
  • The Union goverment to put in both the employers’ and the employees’ contributions to provident fund for firms employing up to 100 persons where 90 per cent earn less than Rs 15,000 per month.
  • EPFO rules to be amended to let account holders withdraw 75 per cent of their outstanding or three months’ salary, whichever is lower..
  • The Centre appealed to the states to use Rs 31,000 cr in a fund for 35 million registered workers in the construction sector.
  • The Centre urged the states to use district mineral funds to augment testing, screening, etc related to the pandemic. 

The tally

  • India recorded its 13th death in the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), according to the Union health ministry’s update on March 26, 2020 morning. The total number of cases that tested positive to SARS-C0V-2 were 649. A section of the media, however, reported the tally to be 14, including the death of a 65-year-old in Srinagar. 
  • Maharashtra (121 cases) displaced Kerala (110 cases) at the top of the table. Some of the state-wise breakup has changed, the ministry said.
  • According to Indian Council of Medical Research, 25,144 samples from 24,254 individuals were tested by 8 pm yesterday. 
  • The pandemic (COVID-19) has already claimed 21,293 lives, according to Worldometer online tracker. The world has recorded 471,311 cases, 344 of which were new at midnight Greenwich Mean Time. 
  • According ot this aggregation, seven of those new cases were in India, taking its total to 664.    
  • The United States added the most new cases — 156, followed by South Korea (104) and China (67). They also reported deaths.
  • Bolivia and El Salvador also reported new cases. 
  • China continued to lead the total tally with 81,285 cases, followed by Italy (74,386) and the US, which has come up fast and now has 68,367 positive cases.
  • Worldover, 4 per cent of the active cases were critical. 
  • A doctor at a government Mohalla clinic in Mohanpuri in Delhi’s Maujpur tested positrive for the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), according to a March 24,2020 note from the subdivisional magistrate of Shahdra. Patients who were attended there between March 12 and 18 have been asked to quarantine themselves at their homes. 

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