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Govt to transfer Rs 2,000 under PM-KISAN scheme to 8.69 Cr farmers in April 1st week

To provide relief to farmers affected due to the lockdown, the Centre on Thursday said it will transfer in the first week of April the first instalment of Rs 2,000 to each of 8.69 crore beneficiaries under the PM-KISAN scheme.

Announcing the relief measures within 36 hours of nationwide lockdown, Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman said,

"Farmers receive Rs 6,000 annual from PM-KISAN. We will now be giving the first instalment of that as a front-loaded matter, so that at the beginning of the year they will get Rs 2,000".

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This will benefit immediately 8.69 crore farmers who feed 1.3 billion population, she added.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme, the Centre transfers an amount of Rs 6,000 per year, in three equal instalments, directly into the bank accounts of the farmers, subject to certain exclusion criteria relating to higher income status.

Addressing the media today, Sithraman also announced a slew of measures for women, poor people, and construction workers to combat the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Nirmala announced that the Government of India will pay Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) contribution of 12 percent each for employee and employer (24 percent) for the next three months. This is for companies in the organised sector having up to 100 employees with around 90 percent of the employees drawing a salary below Rs 15,000.

A Rs 50 lakh insurance cover was also declared for healthcare workers, sanitation workers, paramedics, doctors, and nurses, who are at the forefront of dealing with coronavirus pandemic.

Sitharaman said the government has finalised an economic stimulus package to deal with the impact of 21-day countrywide lockdown to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

A comprehensive package of Rs 1.7 lakh crore was announced by the finance minister for the economy hit by the coronavirus.

(Edited by Kanishk Singh)

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