After the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi announced a 21-day complete lockdown in India, the central govt. launched the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY). The Finance Minister of India Nirmala Sitharaman announced Rs. 1.7 lakh crore package for PM Garib Kalyan Yojana.
Garib Kalyan Yojana is formulated to benefit 80 crore Indians including urban and rural poor, migrant workers and women who belong to economically backward socio-economic strata. Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana is being launched to ensure that people stay at their home and maintain social distancing to fight Coronavirus.
The Finance Minister announced the scheme on 26 March 2020. Sitharaman said that the Garib Kalyan Yojana would ensure that no one will be hungry during the lockdown.
In Hindi: Garib Kalyan Yojana 2020
Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana 2020 (PMGKY 2020) Scheme has 2 components for the needy i.e. migrant workers and urban and rural poor.
- Cash transfer through DBT
- Food security measures
Besides, 8 separate measures were also announced for:
- Poor widows
- Jan Dhan Yojana accounts held by women
- Ujjwala Scheme holders
- SHGs for women
- Organised sector workers through EPFO
- Construction workers
The inclusion of extra Anna in the existing Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna keeping in view the regional preferences and the essential nutrition intake is highly appreciated. This scheme will serve a long way in maintaining the nutrition of the poor and also restrain a situation of panic in the current times. Now, let us check the complete Coronavirus relief package details and how this scheme would benefit poor people.
Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) 2020-21
It is a multi-pronged approach to fight Coronavirus (COVID) and its main features are as follows:-
PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana 2020-21: 10 kg Ration + 1 kg Pulses Free
In the PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana, govt. will cover 80 crore poor people which is about two-thirds of the country’s population. Now each of such persons will get 5 kg rice or wheat each month for the next three months free of charge, in addition to the 5 kg they already get. This means that each family will now get 10 Kg Ration along with 1 kg of dal of their choice for the next three months absolutely free of cost. The FM has also assured that there would be no shortage of food products and essential goods during the lockdown.
Medical Insurance to Paramedic / Nurses / Asha Workers & Others fighting COVID 19
FM Nirmala Sitharaman also announced medical insurance of Rs. 50 lakh each for those people fighting on the frontline with COVID 19. This component includes paramedics, nurses, ASHA workers and others who are serving people in the fight against Coronavirus. This PMGKY Scheme will benefit from medical insurance of Rs. 50 lakh to about 22 lakh people.
Rs. 2,000 DBT for Farmers under PM-KISAN Scheme
The central govt. is going to deposit first instalment of Rs. 2,000 to bank accounts of each of 8.69 crore farmers through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode. This initiative under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana is going to start from 1 April 2020.
MGNREGA Workers Wage Raised
The central govt. approves Rs. 20 wage increase for workers (Rs. 202 from Rs. 182) under Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). The centre will start this MGNREGA Workers wage raised initiative by providing Rs. 2,000 additional income to daily wage workers. The MNREGA wage increase will benefit 5 crore families.
Ex-Gratia to Old Age / Widow / Disabled
For senior citizens above 60 years, widows and disabled, govt. will provide ex gratia of Rs. 1,000 in two instalments. This initiative will benefit around 3 crores, poor people.
Women Jan Dhan Account Holders
In this initiative, govt. will provide Rs. 500 ex-gratia per month for 3 months to 20 crore women Jan Dhan Account holders.
Free Cylinders to PM Ujjwala Yojana Beneficiaries
Under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, govt. will provide free cylinders for 3 months to 8.3 crores below poverty line (BPL) families.
Collateral Free Loans up to Rs. 20 Lakh to Women SHGs
The women self-help groups (SHGs) will be able to take collateral-free loans up to Rs. 20 lakh (previously Rs. 10 lakh) with immediate effect. This initiative to provide Collateral Free Loans to Women SHGs will impact 7 crore households.
Home Delivery of Medicines
CCEA on 26 March 2020 has also approved the scheme for home delivery of medicines to ensure that people get essential medicines at their homes. To ensure social distancing and prevent buyers lines in front of medical shops during the lockdown, govt. has approved this scheme.
Govt. to Pay EPF Contribution for Employer & Employee (Organized Sector)
The central govt. wants to ensure money in hand and money in Provident Fund Accounts for the organized sector. Accordingly, the central govt. will now pay EPF contribution for both employer and employee. This would be around 24% for the next 3 months in establishments in which up to 100 people are employed. Moreover, around 90% of the employee earns less than Rs. 15,000 a month. EPFO Scheme regulation is also going to be amended to allow the non-refundable advance of 75% of the amount or 3 months wages (whichever is lower).
Full Salary to Contractual Workers of Government
Another major announcement stated the centre and state tax subsidy will continue for apparel export. All the contractual workers of the government will be paid full salary, irrespective of the disruption caused by the coronavirus scare.
Recapitalization of Regional Rural Banks (RRBs)
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the recapitalisation of regional rural banks with Rs. 1340 crores. This recapitalization of banks will improve their capital adequacy ratio (CAR). As Rs. 670 crores would be given by the central government, Rs. 670 crore would be collected from different banks.
The proposal to permit non-refundable advance to employees out of their PF balances will help employees to tide over their liquidity issues. At present, non-refundable advances are permitted only for specified purposes such as housing, marriage etc. Even these are permitted where the employee has put in a minimum services period.
The central govt. has also given directions to state governments to utilize construction workers fund of Rs. 31,000 crore. This scheme will protect 3.5 crore registered workers against economic disruption as many building and construction have been stopped. The state govt. can also use District Minerals Fund for medical testing, screening activities and other requirements to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.