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Explainer: What are the various relief measures announced by State Governments?

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Following the 21-day nationwide lockdown to tackle the spread of COVID-19, the central & state governments have announced various relief measures. Here is a compilation of the relief measures announced by state governments.

The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented situation. It is already known that the Government of India has declared a Nation-wide lockdown for 21 days  that began on 25 March 2020 to contain the spread of the virus.

relief measures by States_national lockdown

Few states including Delhi, Bihar, Telangana etc. had announced a state-level lockdown prior to the national lockdown. Any such lockdown has an impact on various sections of people especially those from the marginalised communities who stand to lose work. The plight of migrant labourers leaving the cities after the lockdown and travelling back to their native places was a reflection of the adverse effect of lockdown. However, the impact is not limited to these communities since employees, small businesses and corporates also being adversely affected because of the closedown in economic activity.

Multiple relief measures launched by Central & State Governments

In this context, Central and State governments have announced relief packages and announced other measures which could help in assuaging the situation. In this story, we look at the various measures taken by the State Governments in the context of COVID-19.

The information is based on the notifications issued by the respective state governments. Different issues like food, income, health etc are identified and the relevant measures notified by the various state governments are highlighted.

More than 15 states have announced Food-related relief measures.

Assurance of food is one of the key measures to assure sustenance of the underprivileged who are affected by the lockdown. Most of the states have announced relief measures which provide food assurance to these communities. Some of these are beyond any measures that the centre has announced.

Most of the states have provided for free ration to BPL cardholders and other marginalized sections. Special provisions to provide food and other support has been initiated by few state governments for the migrant and daily wage workers.  Some of the important announcements made by the states with respect to arranging food and related essentials are given below.

Notifications & Relief Measures relating to Food

State

Announcement

Andhra Pradesh

a.       Free Ration of Rice and 1 KG Red Gram Dal for April.

b.      Doorstep delivery of Essentials.

c.       All BPL families to get Ration along with a KG of Dal Thrice in April.

Chhattisgarh

a.       Distribution of Food packets to the destitute (with NGO & Charitable Organization’s support)

b.      Rice for 2 months to be provided in April for all Ration Card holders. Sugar & Salt for two months – Antodaya & Annapurna Ration card holders.

Delhi

a.      7.5 Kgs free ration for 72 lakh beneficiaries

b.      500 hunger relief centres for free food (Serving Lunch & Dinner)

Haryana

Notification from Finance ministry provisioned for :

a.      Free ration for April to all BPL Families.

b.      Dry ration for children enrolled in schools & Anganwadis

Jharkhand

a.      Community Kitchen centres to be opened in all thanas in Districts until end of May’2020 to serve – migrants, homeless & disabled. Budget of Rs. 3 crores approved.

b.      Dry ration for areas where community kitchens are not accessible. 5000 packets to be distributed in Ranchi and 2000 in rest of districts.

Kerala

As per G.O & CM address :  

a.      Community kitchens at Panchayat & Municipality ward level.

b.      Food to be delivered to home to poor , aged & chronically ill.

c.      Free provision to all BPL card holders + additional 35 kgs rice in next month

d.      15 kgs rice free for APL cardholders

e.      Free provision kits to those under quarantine

f.       Launch restaurants  that provide meals for Rs.20

Madhya Pradesh

a.      Providing free of cost food to – people in isolation, homeless & destitute. Door-door facility available.

b.      Free ration for all BPL households for a month

Maharashtra

a.      Home delivery of cooked food – pregnant, lactating women & children ( 7 months – 6 years) in tribal areas: ICDS Maharashtra

b.      Additional  5 kgs of ration per month for three months – under PMGKY for AAY and PHH.

c.      Food along with shelter & healthcare for migrant families

d.      Price of ‘Shiv Bhojan Thali’ reduced to Rs. 5 from Rs.10. Number of Thalis also increased to  1 lakh from 36 thousand.

 

Odisha

a.      Hot cooked meals & Dry -ready to eat meals ( Rs. 60 per adult & Rs. 45 per child) – for poor , sick & destitute.

b.      Distribution of cooked food by ICDS & Mission Shakti functionaries.

c.      Free cooked meals/packets twice in a day to urban homeless.

d.      Cooked food for sick & destitute in Panchayats across the state.

 

Rajasthan

a.      Free packets of food items for two months to : Street vendors, daily wage labourers and other needy families ( not under NFSA)

b.      Families under NFSA to receive Free Wheat until May.

Telangana

a.      12 kgs of rice/wheat flour for migrants

b.      12 kgs of rice for all white ration card holders

Tamil Nadu

As per CM’s Announcement:

a.      Free rice, dal , cooking oil & Sugar – Ration card holders

b.      15 kg rice, 1 kg dal, 1 kg cooking oil – construction workers & Auto rikshaw drivers who are members of welfare board.

c.      Doorstep delivery of food to elderly.

 

Uttar Pradesh

a.      Food grains & other essential items free of cost – labourers, MNREGA card holders, Antodaya Scheme & Daily wage workers.

West Bengal

a.      Free ration to – AAY, SPHH, PHH & RKSY- category ration card holders.

b.      15 kg rice and 9 kg wheat to RSKY -2

c.      Food , lodging & wage payments for stranded migrant workers.

  • Further, states like Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar have issued notifications to ensure the availability of food & other allowances along with prevention against hoarding of the supplies. 
  • Meanwhile, High Court of Karnataka has urged the State Government to provide Food packets to daily wage employees.
  • Kerala, Uttar Pradesh & Punjab have taken initiatives in respect to the procurement of food grains. 

Financial support to Marginalised sections & Migrant workers

Food security to those who are majorly impacted due to the lockdown has been the most prioritised aspect by most of the state governments. Hence relief was provided in the form of cooked food, food packets or making provisions for increased rations.

Apart from this, many of the state governments have extended the support in the form of monetary benefits. This includes cash initiatives, pensions , advance payments of the financial aid etc. Here is a look at few the major financial support announcements made by the state governments.

Notifications & Measures relating to Financial support & relief

State

Announcement

Andhra Pradesh

a.      Rs. 1,000 one-time support to all the ration card holders

(Rs.1330 crores announced)

b.      Pension to be delivered as usual.

Arunachal Pradesh

a.      Constructions workers registered with the board to get Rs.2,000 per month for two months ( April & May’2020).

b.      Rs.1000 one-time aid for 1,77,213 BPL families.

Bihar

a.      Rs.1,000 to Ration card holding families through Direct bank Transfer.

Delhi

a.      Rs. 5,000 cash support to all construction workers & Daily wage labourers.

b.      Double pension in March for widows, differently-abled & elderly

Haryana

Finance Ministry notification :

a.      Beneficiaries under MMPSY to get the balance amount by 31 March 2020. Further Rs.6,000 for each family in April.

b.      Those registered with Haryana Building & Construction Workers Welfare Board to get Rs.4,500 p.m. (paid. Rs.1,000 weekly).

c.      BPL families to get Rs.4,500 p.m.(paid rs.1,000 weekly) through bank transfer.

d.      Street vendors, mazdoors and other poor people can register and avail Rs.1,000 per week.

 

Himachal Pradesh

a.      One-time payment of Rs.2,000 to 1.5 L construction workers registered with BoCW boards.

b.      Advance payment of 3 months pension (total Rs.3,000) to 5.3 L beneficiaries by first week of April.

Jharkhand

a.      Full Payment to registered daily wage workers during Lockdown period.

Kerala

As per G.O & CM address

a.      Advance payment of pension for month of April.

b.      Rs.2,000 consumer loan for those impacted by Covid-19

c.      Rs.2000 through village employment assurance programme – April & May.

d.      NGREGA payments to complete by March 31st. Workers not to be asked to come to Panchayat office

e.      Extension for payment of water & electricity bills

f.       Tax relief to auto rikshaws, taxis & buses.

Madhya Pradesh

As per C.M’s announcement :

a.      Rs. 1,000 to registered labourers.

b.      Rs.2,000 for two months to Saharia, Baiga and Bharia families.

c.      Advance two months pension of Rs.1,200 for social security pensioners.

Punjab

a.      Rs.3,000 for each construction worker

Rajasthan

a.      Payment of two months pension (Rs.1,500 total ) for NSAP beneficiaries.

b.      Rs.1,000 one-time payment to construction workers,  registered street vendors, labourers, unaided & needy families, BPL & Antodaya families. 

Telangana

a.      Rs.1,500 for all White Ration card holders.

b.      Full wage payment to permanent & contractual workers.

c.      Rs. 500 to migrant workers.

Tamil Nadu

Announcement made by CM:

a.      Rs.1,000 to all ration card holders.

b.      Rs.1,000 to construction workers & auto rikshaw drivers registered with welfare board.

c.      Rs.1,000 to platform vendors registered with government.

Uttar Pradesh

a.      Financial support of Rs.353 crores to 3.53 million daily wage earners.

  • While Chhattisgarh has not provided financial support, Rural Development Department has issued orders to identify works to provide employment.
  • Meghalaya government has passed orders to ensure employees are not terminated on grounds of the work premises being non-operational. The salaries/wages also need to be paid in full.
  • Odisha has issued orders for special implementation of NREGA and issuing of additional job cards.
  • Most of the states have issued directives to ensure that the workers and employees are paid their wages/salaries during the lockdown period. The directives issued also advised against any termination.

States extend support to Migrant workers & other homeless

United Nations’ Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet has in a statement expressed distress over the plight of migrants effected by the lockdown in India. She has also acknowledged the huge logistical and implementation challenge in view of the huge population of India.

relief measures by States_UN Human Rights tweet

In the wake of the reports of this plight of migrants, many state governments have announced measures to encourage the migrants to stay back. These measures include providing food security, financial support, shelter etc.  Few of such measures taken up by the state governments include :

Announcements in respect to Migrant workers

State

Announcement

Arunachal Pradesh

a.      In line with central orders, provision of food & shelter to migrant workers.

Bihar

a.      Rs.100 Crore fund for relief to provide food & shelter to stranded migrants. Helpline is also constituted.

b.      Screening, testing , food & shelter to returning migrant workers.

Jharkhand

a.      Community kitchens to serve food.

Kerala

a.      District Collectors & District Labour Officers to ensure provision of food & shelter to migrant labourers.

Madhya Pradesh

a.      Provision of Financial assistance

b.      Orders relating to home quarantine & reporting to executive magistrate.

Maharashtra

a.      Schools to be used as shelters for migrants.

b.      Rs.45 crores earmarked for food & shelter of migrants.

Telangana

a.      Rs.500 & 12 Kgs of Rice/wheat to migrant workers.

Uttar Pradesh

a.      Creation of Shelter homes for migrants entering into UP.

b.      Returning migrants to be quarantined before being allowed to go to homes.

c.      Transportation arrangements to be made for those who are unable to reach homes due to lockout.

West Bengal

Food, lodging arrangements & wage payments to be made to stranded migrant workers.

Measures in other areas

Apart from these, respective state governments have issued notification relating to support measures in various other areas. These includes – Health, Anganwadis & schools, Farmers etc. Few of the important notifications include :

  • Mid-day Meal Scheme : Different State governments have announced measures, wherein the benefits of Mid-day Meal scheme is transferred to the students during the lockdown.
  • Provision of meals at home – Assam, Madhya Pradesh (Ready to eat meals),
  • Providing ration to the students – Chhattisgarh,  Goa, Haryana, Odisha
  • Cost deposited into the accounts – Maharashtra
  • Provision of Ration or cooked food in the case of ICDS i.e. services to Pregnant & lactating mothers, children under auspices of Anganwadis.
  • Farmers & Agriculture : Supply of seeds, safeguard against high prices of seeds & fertilizers, procurement of the crop, treatment as essential services.
  • Health : Directives regarding the measures to be taken to tackle COVID-19, support to those effected by COVID-19, Quarantine procedures etc.

These are some of the important notifications issued by the states in view of the COVID-19 lockdown. Consolidated information of the various notifications of the state governments are compiled by various groups and are available on COVID India Measures & GOs and PRS India.

Featured Image: Relief measures by States for COVID-19

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