New Delhi, Sep 8 (IANS) The Centre has given cash support to more than 42 crore beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), totalling Rs 68,820 crore, under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) till September 7, the Finance Ministry said on Tuesday.
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 society from the impact of the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
Under the package, the government had announced free food grains and cash payments to women and poor senior citizens and farmers. It’s swift implementation is being continuously monitored by the central and state governments.
So far, 8.52 crore Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) cylinders have been booked and delivered during April and May under the scheme. It includes 3.27 crore PMUY free cylinders delivered to beneficiaries for June 2020, 1.05 crore for July 2020, 0.89 crore for August 2020, and 0.15 crore for September 2020.
In a statement, the Finance Ministry said that as of now, the Union government has released Rs 2,476 crore for the benefit of 0.43 crore Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) account-holder employees, wherein the government had decided to make the entire 24 per cent PF contribution of both the employers and employees for a further period of six months till August.
Moreover, 36.05 lakh members of the EPFO have taken benefit of online withdrawal of non-refundable advance from their respective accounts, totalling Rs 9,543 crore.
The government has also released the first instalment of PM-KISAN (Rs 17,891 crore) and transferred it to 8.94 crore identified farmers who were given Rs 2,000 each directly in their bank accounts.
The government has also disbursed Rs 30,952 crore to women Jan Dhan account holders. A sum of Rs 10,325 crore was disbursed to 20.65 crore women Jan Dhan account holders (100 per cent beneficiaries) as the first instalment, which came to Rs 500 each.
Moreover, Rs 10,315 crore was also credited to 20.63 crore women Jan Dhan account holders (100 per cent beneficiaries) as the second instalment. A sum of Rs 10,312 crore was credited to 20.62 crore (100%) women Jan Dhan account holders as the third instalment.
In addition, the government also released Rs 2,814.5 crore to about 2.81 crore elderly persons, widows, and disabled persons in two instalments. Each beneficiary received an ex gratia cash of Rs 500 under the scheme as the first instalment and another Rs 500 as second instalment. For each instalment, the Centre disbursed Rs 1,407 crore to 100 per cent of the identified beneficiaries.
Also, 1.82 crore building and construction workers have so far received financial support totalling Rs 4,987.18 crore.
So far, under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, 37.52 lakh tonnes of food grains has been distributed to 75.04 crore beneficiaries in April 2020, 37.46 lakh tonnes to 74.92 crore beneficiaries in May, and 36.62 lakh tonnes (LMT) to 73.24 crore beneficiaries in June.
The scheme was further extended for 5 months till November.
Since then, 98.31 LMT food grains has been lifted by states/UTs so far. In July, 36.09 lakh tonnes of food grains was distributed to 72.18 crore beneficiaries, in August 30.22 lakh tonnes to 60.44 crore beneficiaries, and in September 1.92 lakh tonnes to 3.84 crore beneficiaries so far.
In addition, under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, 5.43 lakh tonnes of pulses was also distributed to 18.8 crore beneficiaries between April-June 2020. This scheme was also extended for 5 months till November 2020 for distribution of ‘chana’. About 4.6 LMT ‘chana’ has been dispatched so far.
As of September 7, 1,475 tonnes of ‘chana’ was distributed to 0.15 crore beneficiary households in September, 86 MT to 0.008 crore beneficiary households for October, and 40 MT to 0.004 crore beneficiary households for November.
Under the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, the Centre announced free food grains and ‘chana’ to migrants for 2 months. During the distribution period up to August, 2.67 LMT of food grains was distributed to 5.32 crore migrants. This works out to an average of about 2.66 crore beneficiaries per month, which is nearly 95% of the estimated number of migrants.
Similarly, under the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, 16,417 tonnes of ‘chana’ was distributed to 1.64 crore migrant households, which is 82 lakh households on an average per month.
The Government also released Rs 59,618 crore to the states to liquidate pending dues of both wages and material under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), as part of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package.
The government also increased the payments for MGNREGS work with effect from April 1 to help the largely migrant workers, who are without work in the wake of the lockdown and suspension of business activities due to Covid-19 pandemic.
So far, in this financial year, 195.21 crore person’s man-days of work has been generated under MGNREGS. The government is looking at its employment guarantee scheme to help workers find temporary employment and get wages on their return to hometowns.
The government has increased MGNREGS wages by Rs 20 in this financial year, that will translate into additional benefit of Rs 2,000 annually to a worker.
Under the District Mineral Fund (DMF), the states have been asked to spend 30% of the funds, which comes to Rs 3,787 crore. Of this, Rs 343.66 crore has been spent so far.
An insurance scheme for health workers in government hospitals and healthcare centres has been operationalised w.e.f. March 30, 2020. The New India Assurance is implementing the scheme, which has since been extended to September.