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Lockdown extensions see calls to continue ₹500-instalments to PMJDY women account-holders

KR Srivats New Delhi | Updated on June 30, 2020 Published on June 30, 2020

With several States extending the lockdown till July 31, all eyes are on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to see if the government will come up with more instalments of the ₹500 credited to women Jan Dhan account-holders each month in the April-June quarter under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP).

It may be recalled that the Finance Minister had on March 26 announced the ₹1.7-lakh crore PMGKP to help the vulnerable sections of the society deal with the Covid-19 crisis. This package entailed free foodgrains and cash payment to women, elderly farmers etc.

For nearly 20 crore women account-holders of PMJDY (PM Jan Dhan Yojana), it was announced that a monthly instalment of ₹500 each will be credited for April, May and June months. For these three months, the Centre has in aggregate credited ₹30,952 crore (₹10,325 crore in the first month, ₹10,315 crore in the second instalment and ₹10,312 crore in June).

There is now a clamour for extending this relief given that the lockdown has been extended in several States. This extension is going to pinch many, especially those at the bottom of the pyramid. The government has to put more cash in the hands of the people, say economy watchers.

Madan Sabnavis, Chief Economist, CARE Ratings, said whatever was announced for three months in the case of women Jan Dhan account-holders need to be formally extended.

“To make their earlier measures effective and given the fact that lockdown has been extended till July 31 by almost all States, it will be necessary for more support to be provided to all the needy people,” Sabnavis told BusinessLine.

Seema Prem, CEO and co-founder, FIA Technologies, said that it is critical for the government to put more cash in the hands of the vulnerable, especially women. “The welfare incentive of ₹500 to women Jan Dhan account holders should continue till the end of the year. This will provide much needed financial support caused by this humanitarian crisis,” she said.

Published on June 30, 2020
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