In the view of the COVID-19 outbreak, the FM announced various relief packages in her press conference today. Amongst the many announcements that she made today, the FM announced relaxation in the EPF rules. Here are the announcements made by the Finance Minister.
Applicable: w.e.f. 01st day of April 2020
1. Rs. 1.7 lakh crore financial package.
The 'Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan Scheme' will be of Rs 1.7 lakh crore.
2. FM has announced medical insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh per health worker.
3. PM Gareeb Kalyan Yojana' will include cash transfers to the poor and migrants.
4. Food-related announcements* : 80 crore people will come under the 'Pradhan mantra Gareeb Kalyan Ana Yojana (food scheme)'. Every one under this scheme will get 5 kg of wheat/rice for free in addition to what they are already getting. We will also give one kg of one choice of pulse to each household under this scheme for the next three months. They can take it in two installments also.
5. For farmers*: They receive Rs 6,000 per annum through the PM-KISAN scheme. We will now be giving the first instalment upfront. Around 8.69 crore farmer will get immediate benefit out of this.
6. For daily workers*: Wage increase under MNREGA will benefit 5 crore families. Wage increase will result in additional income of Rs 2,000 per worker.
7. Poor senior citizens, widows and 'divyangs'* to receive Rs 1,000 over the next three months.
8. Women Jan Dhan account holders* to get Rs 500 per month for the next three months.
9. 8.3 crore families below poverty line* will get free LPG cylinders for three months.
10. 63 lakh self-help groups for women* in the country. They get up to Rs 10 lakh collateral-free loans right now. We are doubling that to Rs 20 lakh.
11. Announcements for the organized sector*: Centre will pay the EPF contribution both, of the employer and of the employee (12 percent each) for the next three months. This is for all those establishments that have up to 100 employees and 90 percent of whom earn under Rs 15,000 per month.
12. Provident scheme regulations will be amendment to allow non-refundable advance of 75 percent or three months' wages, whichever is lower. This will benefit 4.8 crore workers who are registered with the EPF.
13. For construction workers*: There is a Buildings and Other Construction Workers' Fund. We are giving directions to states to release those funds.
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