The global spread of the corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic followed by lockdowns has affected global economies including India. Covid-19 has resulted in large number of migrant workers going back to their native places. In order to mitigate the adverse impact of COVID-19. Government of India has announced an economic package of Rs. 20 Lakh Crore. Aatmanirbhar Bharat which focuses on Economy, Infrastructure, System, Vibrant Demography and Demand to create jobs for the youth has also been launched.
Government has launched Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) for the poor to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. Measures are intended at reaching out to the poorest of the poor, with food and money in hands, so that they do not face difficulties in buying essential supplies and meeting essential needs.
Under PMGKY, Government of India is contributing both 12% employer’s share and 12% employee’s share under Employees Provident Fund (EPF), totalling 24% for the wage month from March-August, 2020 for all the establishments having upto 100 employees with 90% of such employees earning less than Rs. 15000/-.
Statutory PF contribution of both employer and employee has been reduced to 10% each from existing 12% each for all establishments covered by EPFO for three months.
To boost employment and livelihood opportunities for migrant workers returning to villages, in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak, Government of India has launched Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan on 20th June 2020. Abhiyaan focuses on developing rural infrastructure and providing modern facilities like internet in the villages. It covers 116 districts of 6 States with a resource envelope of Rs. 50,000 crore to be implemented in a mission mode campaign in 125 days.
Under Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan, the Government has earmarked an additional Rs. 40,000 crore under MGNREGS. It will help generate nearly 300 crore person days in total addressing need for more work including returning migrant workers in Monsoon season as well.
Government of India has launched PM- SVANidhi Scheme to facilitate collateral free working capital loan upto Rs.10,000/- of one-year tenure, to approximately, 50 lakh street vendors, to resume their businesses.
The unemployment benefit under the Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana being implemented by the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has been enhanced to 50% from 25% of the average wage, payable upto 90 days alongwith relaxation of eligibility conditions to claim the benefit for insured workers who have lost employment due to COVID-19. The enhanced benefit and relaxed conditions are applicable for the period 24.03.2020 to 31.03.2020.
This information was given by Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State (I/C) for Labour and Employment in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.