Coronavirus outbreak : Kerala govt announces Rs 20,000 crore financial package

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kerala government has announced a package of Rs 20,000 crore to tide over the present crisis.

 

The plan covers health package, loan assistance, welfare pension, MNREGS, free foodgrain, subsidised meals, tax relief, and arrear clearance. 

The state government will facilitate Rs 2,000 crore loans through self-help group Kudumbashree in the nature of a consumer loan to those impacted by COVID-19.

 Another Rs 2,000 crore will be distributed as village employment assurance programme for April and May.

During a press conference here on Thursday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said:

“The state is facing a huge crisis and normal life has been affected. This has impacted the economy. The financial package is expected to revive the economy”. 

Detailing the financial package, Vijayan said loans worth Rs 2,000 crore would be made available to needy families through all-women network 'Kudumbashree' during April-May.

“Rural employment guarantee programmes worth Rs 1,000 crore each will be implemented in April-May. Social security pension of Rs 1,320 crore, to be given in April, would be distributed this month”, he said.

“50 lakh people are benefited through the pension scheme. Those belonging to the below poverty line (BPL) and Anthyodaya, who are not receiving social security pension, would be given Rs 1,000 each, for which Rs 100 crore would be earmarked”, he added.

"Cutting across APL and BPL families, 10 kg free ration would be given and Rs 100 crore would be set apart for the purpose. A string of 1,000 low-cost hotels, providing food at Rs 20, would be opened across the state next month”, the chief minister stated.

“The 'fitness' charges of autorickshaws and taxis and one month tax of stage and contract carriages would be waived. Consumers would be given a month to clear their electricity and water bills and film theatres would get entertainment tax waiver”, the CM said.

The chief minister also asked people to stay away from the Bharani festival at Kodungalloor on Friday which normally sees a heavy turnout of devotees from all over the state.

Meanwhile, the Kerala High Court on Thursday directed banks, financial institutions and Income Tax authorities to defer recovery proceedings till April 4.

On Thursday one more person tested positive for coronavirus in Kasargod district. He was found to have travel history to Dubai. 

With this, the state has reported one more positive case, taking the total confirmed COVID-19 cases to 28, of which 25 patients are under treatment.

 

With inputs from Agency

Image credit: Livemint

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