New Delhi, April 23 (IANS) Around 33 crore beneficiaries have been directly given cash support through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) amounting to Rs 31,235 crores under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) till April 22, the finance ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
The Rs 1.7 lakh crore PMGKP package was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on March 26 to protect the weaker and most vulnerable sections of the society from the impact of the lockdown due to COVID-19.
Under the package, the Government announced free food grains and cash payment to women and poor senior citizens and farmers. It’s swift implementation is being continuously monitored by Central and State governments.
So far 40.03 lakh tonnes of food grains have been lifted by 36 States/UTs out of 40 lakh tonnes for April and 19.63 lakh tonne free ration of food grains has been distributed by 31 States/UT to 39.27 crore beneficiaries covered under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana.
Moreover, 1,09,227 tonne of Pulses have also been dispatched to various states/UTs.
The finance ministry statement said that as of April 22, 2.66 crore free Ujjwala cylinders has been delivered while a total of 3.05 crore cylinders have been booked. Under the package government has decided to distribute free cooking gas cylinders to Ujjwala beneficiaries for three months till June 30.
The plan to give advance benefit to EPFO subscribers has also been lapped up with 6.06 Lakh members of EPFO taking the benefit of online withdrawal of non-refundable advance amounting to Rs 1,954 crore so far. The government has also released an amount of Rs 1,000 crore for the benefit of 78.74 lakh EPFO account holders where the government has decided to make the contribution of both employer and employees for a period of three months. A total of 10.6 lakh employees have benefitted so far and a total of Rs 162.11 crore has been transferred in 68,775 establishments.
The government has also released first instalment of PM-KISAN (Rs 16,146 crore) and transferred it to all eight crore identified farmers who got Rs 2,000 directly in their account. A sum of Rs 10,035 crore has also been disbursed to 20.05 crore to women Jan Dhan account holders as on April 22.
In addition, government has also released Rs 1,405 crore to about 2.82 crore old age persons, widows and disabled persons. Each beneficiary received an ex-gratia cash of Rs 500 under the scheme as the first instalment. Another instalment of Rs 500 each will be paid during next month.
Also, and 2.17 crore Building & Construction workers have so far received financial support amounting to Rs 3,497 crore.
With regard to MNREGS, increased rate has been notified w.e.f April 1,2020. In the current financial year, 1.27 crore persons’ man-days of work was generated. Further, Rs 7,300 crore was released to states to liquidate pending dues of both wage and material.
The insurance scheme for health workers has also been operationalised by New India Assurance covering 22.12 Lakh health workers.