New Delhi [India], Mar 26 : Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said that 8.69 crore farmers will get immediate help during the lockdown period through direct cash transfers in the first week of April.
"8.69 crore farmers to be immediately benefited through Direct cash transfers. Installment of Rs 2000 in the first week of April will be transferred," Sitharaman said at a press conference here.
Elaborating the Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Ann Yojna (for next 3 months) she said, "80 crore poor people covered, in addition to the already allotted 5 kilograms of rice or wheat per person, an additional 5 kilogram will be provided free. An additional 1 kilogram of pulses (according to regional preference) will also be given."
The Finance Minister said that BPL families currently covered under the Ujjwala scheme will receive free cylinders for three months so that there is no shortage of cooking medium.
The Finance Minister has announced a relief package of Rs 1.7 lakh crore to the underprivileged, poor and migrant workers affected by the lockdown amid COVID-19 outbreak.
She also said that workers - like nurses, paramedics and station staff - who were in the frontline of the war against the disease, will be provided medical insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh per person.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Tuesday announced a 21-day lockdown in the entire country effective from midnight to deal with the spread of coronavirus, saying that "social distancing" is the only option to deal with the disease, which spreads rapidly.
( With inputs from ANI )