- Insurance cover of Rs 50 Lakh per health worker fighting COVID-19 to be provided under Insurance Scheme
- 80 crore poor people will to get 5 kg wheat or rice and 1 kg of preferred pulses for free every month for the next three months
- 20 crore women Jan Dhan account holders to get Rs 500 per month for next three months
- Increase in MNREGA wage to Rs 202 a day from Rs 182 to benefit 13.62 crore families
- Ex-gratia of Rs 1,000 to 3 crore poor senior citizen, poor widows and poor disabled
- Government to front-load Rs 2,000 paid to farmers in first week of April under existing PM Kisan Yojana to benefit 8.7 crore farmers
- Central Government has given orders to State Governments to use Building and Construction Workers Welfare Fund to provide relief to Construction Workers
The Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Niramla Sitharaman today announced Rs 1.70 Lakh Crore relief package under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana for the poor to help them fight the battle against Corona Virus. While addressing the press conference here today, Sitharaman said
“Today’s measures are intended at reaching out to the poorest of the poor, with food and money in hands, so that they do not face difficulties in buying essential supplies and meeting essential needs.”
Following are the components of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package: —
PRADHAN MANTRI GARIB KALYAN PACKAGE
- Insurance scheme for health workers fighting COVID-19 in Government Hospitals and Health Care Centres
- Safai karamcharis, ward-boys, nurses, ASHA workers, paramedics, technicians, doctors and specialists and other health workers would be covered by a Special insurance Scheme.
- Any health professional, who while treating Covid-19 patients, meet with some accident, then he/she would be compensated with an amount of Rs 50 lakh under the scheme.
- All government health centres, wellness centres and hospitals of Centre as well as States would be covered under this scheme approximately 22 lakh health workers would be provided insurance cover to fight this pandemic.
- PM Garib Kalyan Ann (अन्न) Yojana
- Government of India would not allow anybody, especially any poor family, to suffer on account of non-availability of foodgrains due to disruption in the next three months.
- 80 crore individuals, i.e, roughly two-thirds of India’s population would be covered under this scheme.
- Each one of them would be provided double of their current entitlement over next three months.
- This additionality would be free of cost.
- To ensure adequate availability of protein to all the above mentioned individuals, 1 kg per family, would be provided pulses according to regional preferences for next three months.
- These pulses would be provided free of cost by the Government of India.
III. Under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana,
Benefit to farmers:
- The first instalment of Rs 2,000 due in 2020-21 will be front-loaded and paid in April 2020 itself under the PM KISAN Yojana.
- It would cover 8.7 crore farmers
- Cash transfers Under PM Garib Kalyan Yojana:
- A total of 20.40 crores PMJDY women account-holders would be given an ex-gratia of Rs 500 per month for next three months.
- Under PM Garib Kalyan Yojana, gas cylinders, free of cost, would be provided to 8 crore poor families for the next three months.
Help to low wage earners in organised sectors:
- Wage-earners below Rs 15,000 per month in businesses having less than 100 workers are at risk of losing their employment.
- Under this package, government proposes to pay 24 percent of their monthly wages into their PF accounts for next three months.
- This would prevent disruption in their employment.
Support for senior citizens (above 60 years), widows and Divyang:
- There are around 3 crore aged widows and people in Divyang category who are vulnerable due to economic disruption caused by COVID-19.
- Government will give them Rs 1,000 to tide over difficulties during next three months.
- Under PM Garib Kalyan Yojana, MNREGA wages would be increased by Rs 20 with effect from 1 April, 2020. Wage increase under MNREGA will provide an additional Rs 2,000 benefit annually to a worker.
- This will benefit approximately 13.62 crore families.
- Women organised through 63 lakhs Self Help Groups (SHGs) support 6.85 crore households.
- Limit of collateral free lending would be increased from Rs 10 to Rs 20 lakhs.
- Other components of PM Garib Kalyan package
- Employees’ Provident Fund Regulations will be amended to include Pandemic as the reason to allow non-refundable advance of 75 percent of the amount or three months of the wages, whichever is lower, from their accounts.
- Families of four crore workers registered under EPF can take benefit of this window.
Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Fund:
- Welfare Fund for Building and Other Constructions Workers has been created under a Central Government Act.
- There are around 3.5 Crore registered workers in the Fund.
- State Governments will be given directions to utilise this fund to provide assistance and support to these workers to protect them against economic disruptions.
District Mineral Fund
- The State Government will be asked to utilise the funds available under District Mineral Fund (DMF) for supplementing and augmenting facilities of medical testing, screening and other requirements in connection with preventing the spread of CVID-19 pandemic as well as treating the patients affected with this pandemic.
Most Covid Restrictions to be Lifted From March 31, Mask and Hand Hygiene to Continue
New Delhi-The Centre has issued a notification to the States informing that the provisions of the Disaster Management (DM) Act, 2005 will not be invoked in the country after March 31. The Union Health Ministry said that the use of face masks and following hand hygiene will continue.
It implies that most of the Covid-related rules and restrictions would end.
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla issued the notification which said that the decision was taken following the overall improvement in the situation and the preparedness of the government in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, local authorities and State police can still invoke fines and criminal cases against persons violating COVID-19 norms under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), a senior government official said.
The DM Act was invoked on March 24, 2020, due to the pandemic
“Over the last seven weeks or so there has been a steep decline in the number of cases. The total caseload in the country stands at 23,913 only and the daily positivity rate has declined to 0.28%. It is also worth mentioning that with the combined efforts, a total of 181.56 Cr vaccine doses have been administered,” the notification said.
“I would like to mention that in view of the nature of the disease, we still need to remain watchful of the situation. Wherever any surge in the number of cases is observed, the States/UTs may consider taking prompt and proactive action at a local level, as advised by MoHFW (Health Ministry) from time to time,” the notification said.
The Indian government had issued various guidelines and measures for the first time on March 24, 2020, under the Disaster Management Act to curb the COVID-19 situation in the country, which have been modified several times thereafter.
India currently has 23,087 active COVID-19 cases and recorded 1,778 new cases and 62 deaths in the last 24 hours. The daily positivity rate has also declined to 0.28%.
Vaccination of 15-18 Year Age Group in India from Jan 3, Precautionary Dose for Frontline Workers from Jan 10
New Delhi-India will begin vaccination of the children in the age group of 15-18 years from 3rd January 2022. The move is likely to aid in education normalization in schools. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Narender Modi on Saturday evening. He also announced a precaution dose (booster dose) for healthcare and frontline workers from 10th January 2022, Monday.
In India, this has been called the ‘precaution dose’ not booster dose. An option of precaution dose will be available for senior citizens above 60 years of age with co-morbidities on the advice of their doctors from 10th January 2022.
Referring to the Omicron infections In India, the Prime Minister requested the people not to panic and to follow precautions such as masks and washing hands repeatedly.
According to the Government, the vaccination campaign started on 16th January this year has crossed the mark of 141 crore doses, and 61 percent of the adult population of the country has received both the vaccines and 90 percent of adults have received one dose.
According to the Government statistics, currently, the country has 18 lakh isolation beds, 5 lakh oxygen supported beds, 1 lakh 40 thousand ICU beds, 90 thousand ICU and Non-ICU beds especially for children, more than 3 thousand PSA oxygen plants, 4 lakh oxygen cylinders and support to states is being provided for buffer doses and testing.
The Prime Minister assured that soon the country will develop a nasal vaccine and the world’s first DNA vaccine.
Three Farm Laws to be Withdrawn, Announces PM Modi Ahead of Elections in Punjab and UP
New Delhi: Ahead of assembly polls in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, Prime Minister Narender Modi on Friday retreated from his stand on the three contentious farm laws and announced that the government will repeal three laws. He requested the protesting farmers to end the protest that has been going on for over a year now.
He said the three laws would be repealed in the winter session of Parliament starting later this month. He also said that though the laws were in the interest of the farmers, his government failed to convince them.
आज मैं आपको, पूरे देश को, ये बताने आया हूं कि हमने तीनों कृषि कानूनों को वापस लेने का निर्णय लिया है।
इस महीने के अंत में शुरू होने जा रहे संसद सत्र में, हम इन तीनों कृषि कानूनों को Repeal करने की संवैधानिक प्रक्रिया को पूरा कर देंगे: PM @narendramodi
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) November 19, 2021
The Prime Minister chose the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti to make this announcement. The decision is being perceived as an attempt to appease the farmers, especially in Punjab ahead of the assembly polls. Also, the results of by-poll held in various states are being seen as a setback to the ruling government that compelled it to reconsider its stand on the farm bills.
The Prime Minister said, “today I have come to tell you, the whole country, that we have decided to withdraw all three agricultural laws. In the Parliament session starting later this month, we will complete the constitutional process to repeal these three agricultural laws”.
It’s pertinent to mention that the Centre government had to announce a cut in taxes on petrol and diesel right after the results of bye polls were declared.
The three contentious bills are The Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill.
The opposition Congress and farmers’ bodies have termed it a victory of their unity against the government’s decision. Former Chief Minister of Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh was one of the first to welcome the decision through a Tweet.
Great news! Thankful to PM @narendramodi ji for acceding to the demands of every punjabi & repealing the 3 black laws on the pious occasion of #GuruNanakJayanti. I am sure the central govt will continue to work in tandem for the development of Kisani! #NoFarmers_NoFood @AmitShah
— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) November 19, 2021
यह जीत देश के किसानों की जीत है, लोकतंत्र की जीत है।
— Congress (@INCIndia) November 19, 2021