Rs20,000cr Kerala relief package to combat CoVID 19 ‘pains’

State to soon clear all dues to individuals & establishments 

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The financially distraught Kerala Government, which is yet to recover from the financial jolts inflicted by the devastating floods in the past two years, has put on a brave face on the CoVID 19 by announcing a Rs20,000 crore relief package on Thursday.

The State that has received praises from within and outside the country for its well-thought-out schemes and efforts designed to contain the fast spreading ill effects of CoVID 19, has for sure set another ‘model’ for others to look up to.

The government has pulled out all stops to announce its ambitious decisions that include spending Rs14000 crore to settle all government dues and outstandings to establishments as well as individuals by April itself.

Detailing the package, Pinarayi Vijayan, the Chief Minister of Kerala said a Rs2000 loan scheme will be launched in the coming two months through Kudambashree (a creative grouping of women in the state) along the lines of the consumer loans that was announced in the aftermath of the 2018 floods.

The government will be spending Rs1000 crore each in the months of April and May towards supporting the rural employment guarantee scheme.

It has also decided to advance by one month, the payment of social security pension that is otherwise scheduled to be paid in April. Moreover, the CM said the Government plans to pay two months’ pension in one go, and the exercise may entail an expense of Rs132 crore.

Without discriminating between APL and BPL, the government is moving ahead to make available one month’s food grain ration free of cost to all. The government is believed to incur an additional expense of another Rs100 crore towards this.

The plan to open 1000 restaurants across the state to provide meals at a subsidised price of Rs25 in September this year as part of the Budget announcement will be done before schedule – maybe next month itself. “Not only that, the meals will be offered at Rs20 each – at Rs5 less than planned before,” the CM added.

Pinarayi expressed hope that the package is so comprehensive that it will certainly act as a handholding for the people in the state to come out of the financial pains the dreaded CoVID 19 has been showering on the people and the businesses alike.’

He also informed that though the government is weighing options to address the financial issues faced by the autos and taxis in the state, as an immediate step, the government has decided to waive their fitness charges.

Buses also will get tax concessions as part of the package, whereas the Cinema theatres have been offered cut in entertainment taxes, the specific rates for which will be finalised and announced soon.


Union Govt too working on financial package

NEW DELHI: The Union government is working on a financial package for various sectors, including civil aviation and tourism, to deal with the fall-out of the coronavirus pandemic that has impacted the economy, PTI reports.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced setting up of a task force under Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman which will take necessary actions “in the near future” after analysing the coronavirus pandemic situation.
According to government sources, Sitharaman will hold a meeting with MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari, Animal Husbandry Minister Giriraj Singh, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel on Friday to assess the situation in order to work out a package.
The government is assessing the situation on a daily basis as there has been a significant impact on the economy, the sources said.


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