More than 33 crore poor people have been given direct financial assistance amounting to Rs 31,235 crore as on April 22 under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) announced by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on March 26, the government has said.
The financial package was announced to protect poor people, including women and senior citizens, and health workers from lockdown impact due to COVID-19. Under PMGKP, free food grains and cash have been given directly to women, senior citizens and farmers via direct benefit transfer into their accounts.
A government statement said about 40.03 lakh MT of food grains had been lifted by 36 states/UTs. Total 3.05 crore cylinders have been booked under the Ujjwala Scheme, of which 2.66 crore PMUY beneficiaries have already got free cylinders.
As per the government, around 6.06 lakh EPFO members have availed online withdrawal of Rs 1,954 crore so far. The Centre has also paid EPF contribution for three months .i.e. payment of 24 per cent of wages as the contribution to EPFO members drawing wages below Rs 15,000 per month in companies with up to 100 workers.
The Centre said in the current financial year, 1.27 crore people's 'man-days of work' has been generated. Further, Rs 7,300 crore had been released to states to liquidate pending dues of both wage and material, the Centre revealed.
As part of the insurance scheme for health workers, 22.12 lakh health workers in government hospitals will benefit, it added. Of the total disbursement, Rs 16,146 crore has gone towards payment of the first instalment of PM-KISAN, which will benefit 8 crore farmers.
The disbursement also includes a payout of Rs 10,025 crore for women. Over 20.05 crore women Jan Dhan account holders have received Rs 500 each in their account under the initiative. The government has also allocated Rs 1,405 crore under the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP), which will benefit about 2.82 crore old age persons, widows and disabled persons.
Besides, as many as 2.17 crore building and construction workers have also been disbursed financial support from the Building and Construction Workers' Fund, under which Rs 3,497 crore has been given to beneficiaries.