States Announce Rs 40,000 cr worth Coronavirus Relief Packages
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On 4th April Centre government approved the release of Rs 11,092 crores to all states under State Disaster Risk Management Fund (SDRMF) for setting up quarantine facilities and arranging other facilities for checking the spread of coronavirus. On March 28 Central government had asked the state governments and union territory administrations to utilise Rs 29,000 crore of state disaster response funds allocated for the next fiscal year, in order to provide food and shelter to migrant workers hit by 21-day lockdown.
In addition to the contribution made by central government, states themselves have allocated funds from their yearly budget to deal with the Pandemic, COVID-19.
Tamil Nadu is one of those Indian state which has been worst hit by Coronavirus after the Tabligh Jamaat incident. The number of COVID-19 cases has been rising everyday in the state. The state government in order to tackle this epidemic announced a Rs 3,280 crore special relief package, including Rs 1,000 each cash assistance to “rice” ration card holders, autorickshaw drivers and construction workers. To the ones holding other card apart from “rice” ration card shall get essential commodities like rice, dhal, cooking oil and sugar will be given free of cost in April.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced a package of Rs 2200 crore benefitting the 1.64 crore people of the state. The package includes financial assistance of Rs 1000 to all the 94 lakhs families covered under food security scheme. Additionally, 22 lakh construction workers will get Rs 1,500 each for the losses incurred due to the lockdown.
Ashok Gehlot led Rajasthan government announced a package worth ₹2,000 crore for supporting the poor and marginalised people who have been deprived of their livelihood during the lockdown. Around 1.41 crore families will benefit from this package. A cash assistance of ₹1,000 each was also announced for 36 lakh families covered under below poverty line (BPL) and Antyodaya Yojana and to 25 lakh construction workers and registered street vendors who have not been covered in social security schemes.
The Kerala government announced a package of Rs 2000 crore for the state to tackle the COVID-19 crisis. The state government decided to take a loan worth Rs 2,000 crore through a self-help group ‘Kudumbashree’. Additionally, the state also announced that foodgrains will be provided to families from all spectrum whether they are below poverty line or not. The government has allowed a one-month extension for the payment of water and electricity bills.
The Kerala government declared a Rs 20000-crore special package to overcome coronavirus disease, that inclues Rs 14,000 crore to clear all arrears pending in various sectors and Rs 500-crore health package.
Uttar Pradesh government will be setting up a Rs 1000 crore fund which will help in setting up testing facilities and procuring ventilators, masks and sanitizers. Additionally Uttar Pradesh government deposited Rs 611 crore in the bank account of 27.5 lakh workers in the state under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act (MNREGA) scheme.
The Uttar Pradesh government also transferred Rs 1000 each in the the bank accounts of more than 30 lakh daily wage workers while free ration for one month will be provided to 1.65 crore construction worker.
The small Himalayan state is fighting bravely against the invisible enemy, Coronavirus. In order to support its citizens and in order to combat COVID-19 the state government has set up special fund of Rs 60 crore. Rs 50 crores for the fund have come from the state government, Rs 10 crore contribution has been provided by the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. In addition to this as a relief measure for all daily wage workers who are facing financial losses due to lack of work amid Coronavirus outbreak the state government will be providing an assistance of Rs 1000 to over 3 lakh registered daily wage workers.
Bihar has been doing exceptionally well in countering the COVID-19 crisis. In order to help its citizen particularly the poor and marginalised ones Chief Minister Nitish Kumar transferred Rs 184 crores into the bank accounts of around 18 lakh ration card holding families in the state. Each ration card-holding family was given Rs 1,000 from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. Besides the government also promised to provide free one-month ration to 1.68 crore families and Rs 1000 each to about 13 lakh registered construction workers.
For the state residents stranded outside Bihar, JDU-BJP led government in Bihar will provide them Rs 1000 through Direct Bank transfer.
The first Coronovirus death in India was reported from the state of Karnataka. Since then the state has been alert in dealing with the epidemic. In terms of financial package Rs 200 crore has been earmarked to combat the spread of coronavirus in the state. The state also announced various measures for the poor of the state like payment of two months of social security pension in advance, release of Rs 1,000 per person to about 21 lakh construction workers and waiving of Rs 13.20 crore loan under “Badavara Bandhu” scheme.
Assam initially reported zero Coronavirus case however state government was preparing itself to deal with any sort of misfortune that may happen. With rise of cases resulting due to Nizamuddin Markaza religious meet Assam now has reported more than 25 Coronavirus affected cases.
The state government announced that from 1st April the construction of embankments and work in tea gardens and agricultural farms would be exempted from the ambit of the lockdown. The government also announced a package meant to benefit the 72 lakhs families at the time of nationwide lockdown. Under the package, one-time assistance of Rs 1,000 will be provided to construction workers and those not covered under the National Food Security Act. In addition, 1.58 lakhs families under NFSA will receive free rice.
The package also included assistance of Rs 1000 each to 100 families in villages of 5,000 people, 150 families in areas of 5,000-10,000 people and 200 families in a place with a population of over 10,000.
The daily wage earners or the labourers of unorganised sectors are the worst affected by Coronavirus. In order to make sure that people belonging to this section of the society are not deprived of food, the Chief Minister of Punjab, Capt Amrinder Singh announced immediate distribution of 10 lakh packets of dry ration to daily wagers and unorganised labourers. The packet contains 10 kg flour, 2 kg pulses and 2 kg of sugar. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh also declared an immediate relief of Rs 3,000 to each registered construction worker in the state.
Every state of India have come together to fight their common enemy, Coronavirus. Apart from the above mentioned states, rest of the states have also announced financial assistance or relie packages particularly targeted to the poor and marginalized communities of their state. Packages worth more than Rs 45000 crore has been annouced by the state government to fight against COVID-19 and to provide finanical relief to the poor and marginalised citizens of their respective states.The 21- day lockdown is supposed to end on 14th of April, however, there are higher chances for the lockdown to be extended for a week or a two.