Free Cylinders, Rs 1000 Monthly: FM’s Relief Package for Women
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on 26 March, Thursday, announced a relief package worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore for the poor, migrant labourers, healthcare staff, and others who are left vulnerable in the middle of this 21-day-long lockdown, as India tries to prevent community transmission of the coronavirus.
Among those directly impacted by the virus outbreak, women from poorer backgrounds, widows will be left economically vulnerable as the country faces disruptions in trade and business over the next few weeks.
To assuage that, as a part of the relief package, Sitharaman announced an ex-gratia of Rs 1,000 for poor senior citizens, widows and the disabled.
Additionally, 20 crore women Jan Dhan Account holders will get Rs 500 per month for next three months to help them run their households, the minister said.
“The Finance Collateral-free loan has been doubled to Rs 20 lakh to 63 lakh women’s self-help groups. This will impact 7 crore households,” she said.
Ujjwala beneficiaries will get free cooking gas (LPG) cylinders in next three months, she said, adding that this will benefit 8.3 crore BPL families.
This three-week-long lockdown has especially affected the daily wage and migrant workers who have lost their source of daily income. Some of them are unable to go home amid the lockdown.
Samima, native of Bihar, who works in Delhi told ANI, “Our children have been surviving on water for the past two days. Landlords are demanding the monthly rent. I urge the govt to either help or send us to our villages.”
(With inputs from PTI and ANI)