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Modi Govt Slew of Measures For Economic Relief Since Covid-19 Lockdown

Even before the 15 measures announced on May 13, the Modi Government had put in place a slew of economic measures as India went into the First Phase of Lockdown starting March 25, 2020.

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Till date, the Modi Government has made a number of steps to help boost the Indian economy, the workers and the middle-class. In the first phase of lockdown, under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package, the government had announced a total of Rs. 1.70 Lakh Crore relief package for the poor to help them fight the battle against Corona Virus. This included insurance cover of Rs 50 Lakh per health worker, 80 crore poor people were given the benefit of 5 kg wheat or rice per person starting March-end for a period of 3-months. Then the government had also distributed 1 kg pulses for each household for free every month till date.

Then, 20 crore women, Jan Dhan account holders got Rs 500 per month for a 3-month period, Gas cylinders, free of cost to 8 crore poor families, increase in MNREGA wage to Rs 202 a day from Rs 182 for 13.62 crore families and an Ex-gratia of Rs 1,000 to 3 crore poor senior citizen, poor widows and poor Divyang.

Under the next part of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package, a Front-loaded Rs 2,000 was paid to farmers under the existing PM-KISAN scheme. This, as per the government data, benefitted 8.7 crore farmers. Then the Building and Construction Workers Welfare Fund were allowed to be used to provide relief to workers.

Then the government order ensured that 24 per cent of monthly wages were credited into the PF accounts for workers over the three month period starting March-end particularly for wage-earners below Rs 15,000 p.m. in businesses having less than 100 workers.

As per the government data, 5-crore workers registered under Employee Provident Fund EPF to get a non-refundable advance of 75 per cent of the amount or three months of the wages, whichever was lower, from their accounts. Then the limit of collateral-free lending was increased from Rs 10 lakhs to Rs 20 lakhs for Women Self Help Groups supporting 6.85 crore households

Some of the Other Measures included issuing all the pending income-tax refunds up to Rs 5 lakh, immediately benefiting around 14 lakh taxpayers. The government said it had already implemented “Special Refund and Drawback Disposal Drive” for all pending refund and drawback claims. “Both the above measures amounted to Rs 18,000 crore of refund. Then the government said Rs 15,000 crore was also sanctioned for Emergency Health Response Package.