COVID-19: Rs 68,820 Crore Given to 42 Crore People, Says Govt

The government has brought 25 schemes together under this programme and villages across 116 districts in the six states viz. Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, and Odisha through the Common Service Centres and Krishi Vigyan Kendras.

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The Parliament session, which began in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, has witnessed several questions from the members regarding the response of the government to address the ongoing crisis in the economy. Questions were raised in the Lok Sabha regarding the details of financial crisis in the country due to lockdown and restrictions imposed due to COVID-19, which has resulted in the fall in economy in last quarter with several sectors affected due to lockdown. Members asked for the details and status of stimulus package including Atma Nirbhar Bharat and Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana as announced and implemented by the government for various sectors/individuals to overcome the economic slowdown sector-wise, along with their utilisation and the manner in which the government is planning to raise funds for stimulus package.

Apart from these, members asked for the details of assistance given to those who have lost their livelihood due to lockdown and the steps recently taken by the government for the welfare of the workers of unorganised sector. Shri Adoor Prakash, Shri Benny Behanan, Shri N.K. Premachandran, Smt Mala Roy, Shri Kunwar Pushpendra Singh Chandel, Smt Sangeeta Kumari Singh Deo, Dr Jayanta Kumar Roy, Shri Syed Imtiaz Jaleel, Shri K. Navaskani, Shri Balubhau Alias Suresh Narayan Dhanorkar and Shri Asaduddin Owaisi were some of the Lok Sabha members who raised the questions in the Lok Sabha.

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Responding to the queries, Minister of State for Finance Shri Anurag Thakur shared that the government has announced a special economic and comprehensive package of Rs. 20 lakh crores—equivalent to 10 per cent of India’s GDP—to combat the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in India. Further, under the “Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan”, an additional Rs  40,000 crore has been allocated for MGNREGS to help generate nearly 300 crore person days to address the need of work of returning migrant workers. Under Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP), financial assistance has been extended to building & construction workers (BoCW).  Minister said that 31 State and UT Governments have announced cash benefits, ranging from Rs 1000/- to Rs 6000/- to around 1.82 crore workers and total amount disbursed is Rs  4987.18 crore as on 7 September 2020.

The finance minister shared that the Government of India launched a massive rural public works scheme ‘Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan’ on 20 June2020 to empower and provide livelihood opportunities to the returnee migrant workers and rural citizens.

It has brought 25 schemes together under this programme and villages across 116 districts in the six states viz. Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, and Odisha through the Common Service Centres and Krishi Vigyan Kendras. A total of 26.34 crore person days have been generated and expenditure of an amount of Rs 22,761.15 crore has been incurred under the programme as on 8 September 2020. The minister added that implementation of the package is reviewed and monitored regularly.

The Minister of State for Finance shared that the Reserve Bank of India has announced certain regulatory measures wherein, in respect of all term loans (including agricultural term loans, retail and crop loans) outstanding as on 1 March 2020, all lending institutions regulated by the Reserve Bank were permitted to grant a moratorium of six months on payment of all instalments falling due between 1 March 2020 and 31 August 2020. Subsequently, the Reserve Bank of India has provided a framework to enable the lenders to implement a resolution plan in respect of eligible corporate exposures without change in ownership and personal loans. Under the Plan, lending institutions may, inter alia, grant moratorium up to two years. The Government has constituted an Expert Committee for making an overall assessment of the impact of waiving of interest and waiving of interest on interest on the COVID-19 related moratorium on the national economy and financial stability.

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Around 42 crore poor people have received financial assistance of Rs 68,820 crore so far under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package.

 While Rs 17,891 crore were front loaded towards payment of the first instalment of PM-KISAN to 8.94 crore beneficiaries, Rs 10,325 crore was credited to 20.65 crore (100 per cent) women Jan Dhan account holders as first installment. The minister shared that Rs 10,315 crore was credited to 20.63 crore (100 per cent) women Jan Dhan account holders with second installment and Rs 10,312 crore credited to 20.62 crore (100 per cent) women Jan Dhan account holders with third installment. Further, 1.82 crore Building &Construction workers received financial support amounting to Rs 4987.18 crore. Under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana, 37.52 LMT of food grains has been distributed.The minister shared that Rs 30,000 crore Additional Emergency Working Capital Funding for farmers through NABARD. New front loaded special refinance facility of Rs 30,000 crore was sanctioned by NABARD during COVID-19 to RRBs and Cooperative Banks to benefit 3 crore farmers, consisting mostly small and marginal farmers in meeting their credit needs for post-harvest and kharif sowing requirements. The House was informed that Rs 24,876.87 crore out of Rs 30,000 crore has been disbursed as on 6 July 2020, out of this special facility.

Sharing further on the progress of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Package, the Minister shared that an amount of Rs 1.58 lakh crore has been sanctioned as on 31 August 2020 under the 100 per cent Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS), out of which more than Rs 1.11 lakh crore has been disbursed in 24 lakh accounts.