Antyodaya: Lifting the Daily Wage Earner and Others

There are some useful social welfare announcements from the Finance Minister this afternoon, focused on taking care of people who may be affected by the lockdown consequent to the pandemic. These measures should be understood in the correct perspective. These are not economic stimulus measures, but social welfare measures aimed at preserving the sustenance of the population and their survival.

The daily wage earner will not be able to stay at home if he does not earn anything to keep the wolves from the door. He need not go to the factory, farm or the fields if some of these benefits reach him on time.

As we are aware, there have been problems with government finances as the economy was going through a slowdown in growth and tax buoyancy was missing.  Government has been grappling with ways and means to find resources to bridge the deficit. Despite all these constraints, the government has come out with a package which looks useful and supportive of the last man standing. We should appreciate these measures against this background.

There may be more measures coming through in the coming days from the government. The RBI is also likely to announce some measures to support the economy.


  1. PM Garib Kalyan Scheme worth Rs 1.70 Lakh Crs that comprises of Direct Benefit Transfer (Cash Transfer) and Food Security.
  2. Medical Insurance worth Rs. 50 L for frontline warriors involved for fighting Corona – Doctors, Nurses, Medical sanitary and others involved.
  3. In order to ensure food security – providing 5kg of Rice/Wheat and 1kg of pulses for free over and above what they are receiving under PM Garib Kalyan Yojana. This is likely to benefit 80 Cr people that constitute two – third of population.
  4. For farmers 1st instalment of Rs. 2K under PM Kisan Yojana will be given in 1st week of April that will benefit 8.69 Cr farmers.
  5. For MNREGA workers, wage increased from Rs. 182 to Rs. 202 that will benefit 5 Cr families.
  6. For Senior citizens, Widows and Differently Abled People, onetime ex-gratia amount of Rs. 1000 will be paid in 2 instalments in next 3 months that will benefit 3 Cr People.
  7. Ex-gratia amount of Rs. 500/month would be given to Jan Dhan Women A/c holders for next 3 months that will benefit 20 Cr women. 3 free gas cylinders would be provided to 8.3 Cr BPL family under Ujjwala Scheme.
  8. The collateral free loan given to SHG of upto Rs. 10 L have been increased to Rs. 20 L. This would benefit 63 L SHG compromising of 7 Cr households.
  9. For organized sector GOI would pay PF (employee’s and employer contribution) of 24% for next 3 months provided organization/establishment have maximum of 100 staff out of which 90% of the staff draws salary below Rs 15000/month.
  10. PF schemes regulation will be amended as a result of which it will allow non – refundable advance of 75% of amount in account OR 3 month of wages whichever is lower.
  11. State Governments have been directed to use construction welfare fund of Rs.31K Crs for providing support and assistance to the workers. It is going to benefit 3.5 Cr workers.
  12. District Mineral Fund to be utilized for purpose of medical testing, screening, or any other activity that will aid in fighting Corona.

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