Coronavirus: FM announces Rs 50 lakh insurance cover for doctors, paramedics, healthcare workers
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced a Rs 50 lakh insurance cover 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.
Earlier this week, the Finance Minister had said a package is under works and will be announced soon.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week had constituted a task force headed by the Finance Minister to work out a package for the economy hit by the coronavirus.
On Monday, Modi held two separate interactions with heads of media houses and leaders of India Inc. via video conferencing to discuss the fallout of the coronavirus crisis.
India Inc., through industry associations such as CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) and Assocham (The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India), had earlier written to Prime Minister Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman seeking measures such as a year-long moratorium by banks on debt repayment, tax cuts, and fiscal stimulus amounting to Rs 2 lakh crore to needy citizens through Aadhaar-based direct benefit transfer.
"Fiscal and monetary stimulus measures need to be announced urgently," CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee had said.
The Modi government on Monday issued an advisory to both private and public companies to not lay off employees or cut their salaries in the wake of the novel coronavirus crisis.
The advisory to employers also highlighted the fact that job cuts and wage cuts would “further deepen the crises and will not only weaken the financial condition of the employee but will also hamper their morale to combat” the pandemic.
The Indian economy has been going through its worst slowdown in a decade. The coronavirus crisis will only compound the country’s economic troubles.
(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)