New Delhi: As India entered the day 2 of the 21-day COVID-19 lockdown, concerns for the well-being of daily wage workers among other underprivileged people were echoing from all walks of life. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday (March 26) announced a food security scheme to help the economically weaker sections to combat challenges posed by the lockdown and the global pandemic of coronavirus.
The FM announced a Rs 1,70,000-crore scheme, titled ‘Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan scheme’ to address the concerns of poor, migrant workers and those who need help, she said. She further ensured that “no one will go hungry” due to COVID-19.
Besides food, the scheme also consists a cash component which is divided under eight heads that covers all sections of society, including pensioners, women and the specially abled, the FM said.
The poor and the needy will get 5 kg additional wheat and rice free of cost for the next there months over and above what they are entitled under the National Food Security Act. They will also get 1 kg pulses free for next three months, the FM Sitharaman said.
Almost 8.3 crore families who are below poverty line will get free cooking gas cylinders for the next three months.
She also launched a special medical insurance cover worth Rs 50 lakh for ‘corona warriors’. These include the frontline workers toiling to avert the crisis like the doctors and their support staff, she explained.
Coronavirus Outbreak In India
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, as of today, March 26 at 3 pm, 649 people in India have been confirmed to have the coronavirus including 43 recoveries and 13 fatalities. Many steps have been taken by the government at the state as well as the central level to tackle the pandemic. The central government has enforced a complete nationwide lockdown so that people refrain from coming in contact with persons/ surfaces infected coronavirus.