Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today announced a Rs. 1.70 lakh crore package which is likely to benefit 80 crore people

In her second media conference in a week, she announced a slew of welfare decisions as the nation is under lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic.

The Finance Minister announced Rs1.70 lakh crore package Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Yojana, targetting 80 crore people.

Under the scheme, for next three months, each person will get additional 5 kg wheat or rice for free, in addition to 5 kg per month already given under PDS. One kg of pulses will be provided per household, according to regional preferences.

Cash transfers, based on direct benefit transfer, will be given to farmers, MGNREGA workers, poor widows, pensioners and disabled people, women with Jan Dhan Yojana accounts, women beneficiaries under Ujjwala scheme, women self-help groups, organised sector workers, construction workers, district mineral fund.

The first instalment of PM-KISAN for 2020-21, which is Rs 2,000, will be given in April itself. As many as 8.69 crore farmers are likely to get immediate benefit.

The wages of MGNREGA workers has been increased from Rs 182 to Rs 202 per day. This will benefit 5 crore families, and will result in an additional Rs 2,000 given per worker. Social distancing norms must be followed at MGNREGA worksites during this period.

For poor pensioners, widows and disabled, govt will give ex-gratia, one time amount of Rs1,000 in two instalments over nxt three months. Expected to benefit 3 crore poor people above 60 years, widows and disabled people.