Women and senior citizens have started receiving benefits of relief measures announced by the Modi government. Around 40 per cent (around 8 crore) of total 20 crore women beneficiaries of Jan Dhan Schemes have already received payment worth Rs 500 each. The Centre started crediting the first instalment of Rs 500 each to over 4 crore Jan Dhan accounts of poor women on April 3.
The Rural Development Ministry has decided to deposit the money in a phased manner in Jan Dhan accounts to reduce crowds at bank branches and ATMs and ensure poeple maintain social distancing. The ministry schedule says Jan Dhan account holders with last digits of their account number as 0 or 1 can withdraw money on April 3; those with 2 or 3 can withdraw on April 4; those with 4 or 5 will receive on April 7; 6 or 7 on April 8; and 8 or 9 on April 9.
Apart from Jan Dhan beneficiaries, 8 crore Ujjwala Scheme beneficiaries will get a total Rs 5,000 crore in their bank accounts. The money will help them buy Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders for three months. The government has allocated Rs 16,000 crore under Kisan Samman, under which farmers will get advance payment worth Rs 2,000 in their bank accounts. For rural workers, the daily wage under the MNREGA employment guarantee programme has been increased to Rs 202 from Rs 182.
Senior citizens, widows and differently-abled will also receive total funds worth Rs 3,000 each into their accounts. In wake of the coronavirus outbreak and nationwide lockdown, the Centre had first earlier announced fiscal and monetary measures and later gave monetary benefits to poor and low-income groups.
The government on March 26 announced a Rs 1.7 lakh crore stimulus that included free foodgrain and cooking gas to poor for three months, and cash doles to women and poor senior citizens to ease the economic impact of coronavirus and the 21-day nationwide lockdown.
To help businesses cope with coronavirus impact, the government also relaxed timelines for meeting tax and other statutory filing requirements as well as allowed companies to divert philanthropy or CSR funds to support the fight against coronavirus.
Coronavirus cases in India are on a steady rise with the cumulative number surpassing 3,300. Currently, there are 3,030 active cases in the country and 75 have died from coronavirus. According to the latest health ministry's data, Delhi has 445 cases, while Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu had 490 and 485, respectively. So far, 266 have been cured or discharged in India.
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