New Delhi:Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced the distribution of 5 kg of wheat or rice and one kg of preferred pulses free of cost every month over the next three months to 80 crore poor across the country to deal with the economic impact of the lockdown amid coronavirus outbreak.
As many of 20.5 crore women Jan Dhan Account holders will get Rs 500 per month for next three months to run their households. Poor senior citizens, widow and disabled will get an ex-gratia of Rs 1,000.
Also, the daily wage under MNREGA has been increased to Rs 202 a day from Rs 182 to benefit 5 crore workers.
Sitharaman said the government will front-load Rs 2,000 payment to farmers in the first week of April under the existing PM Kishan Yojana to benefit 8.69 crore farmers.
The beneficiaries of Ujjwala LPG scheme will get free cooking gas for the next three months, she said. This forms part of the Rs 1.70 lakh crore Gramin Kalyan Package.
The BJP welcomed the Rs 1.7-lakh-crore relief package, saying it will help the poor, farmers and other needy sections of the society when the nation is on a 21-day lockdown to fight the coronavirus pandemic.