In the much-awaited relief package, the Finance Minister – Nirmala Sitharaman, lived up to the expectations of people as she announced a relief package of Rs.1.7 lakh crore today. We have for you the key highlights:-
- ASHA workers, doctors, sanitary workers, and para-medics receive an insurance cover of Rs.50 lakh per person
- The FM promised 5 kg of rice or wheat, free of cost to the needy for 3 months. Additionally, 1 kg of a pulse will also be given free as per the regional preference.
- In the first week of April, the Government will transfer Rs.2000 to each farmer. This will be the first installment that will benefit around 8.69 crore farmers.
- Women Jan Dhan account holders will receive Rs.500 per month for the next 3 months to help them manage their household expenses.
- Women in the Ujjwala Scheme will receive free gas cylinders for the next 3 months. This will benefit around 8.3 crore families below the poverty level.
- Collateral loans for women will be doubled from Rs.10 lakh to Rs.20 lakh under the Rural Livelihood Mission scheme.
- For establishments with up to 100 employees with 90% earning less than Rs.15000, the Government will pay the EPF contribution for both the employee and the employer for the next 3 months.
- The Government will amend the PF rules to allow employees to draw a non-refundable advance of 75% of the amount standing to credit or 3 months wages, whichever is lower.
- The package includes a plan for 3.5 crore construction workers. The Government will utilize Rs.31,000 crore available under Workers’ Welfare Fund to help construction workers.
- District Mineral Funds will be diverted towards coronavirus testing and medicines.
The FM concluded by saying that all these measures will be implemented immediately. She also specified that the relief package was aimed at people in immediate need of food, cooking gas, and money. She also included the Banking Services as a part of essential services that will remain operational throughout the lockdown. The announcement was made between 13:20 and 14:12 hours.
How Did the Markets Respond?
While the markets seemed skeptical when the FM was making the announcement, once all the details were out, investors seemed pleased. The Nifty 50 Index gained 3.89% whereas the BSE Sensex gained 4.94%.
With the Prime Minister announcing a 21-day lockdown, businesses, as well as regular people, were looking forward to a relief package that could lighten the burden. The FM’s package definitely succeeded in lifting the spirits of the market.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this post are that of the author and not those of Groww.