Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has announced an Rs. 20,000 crore package to tide over the global pandemic Covid-19. The package is to offset financial crisis and to get people's lives back on track, announced chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan during a press conference.
Loan worth Rs.2000 crore will be disbursed to families under the Kudumbasree Mission, in the next two months. A similar loan package was implemented by the LDF government after the August 2018 massive floods and thousands of families benefitted from the scheme.
Rs.2000 crore will be distributed under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme during the months of April and May. Disbursal of Social Security pensions, scheduled for April, will be cleared in this month itself.
Two months’ pension will be given to the beneficiaries and Rs. 1320 crore will be allotted for this purpose.
For the financially deprived families, which are not included in the social security pension scheme, Rs. 1000 will be given. Rs.100 crores will be allotted for this purpose.
All families regardless of the APL or BPL status will be given free food grains for one month. Rs.100 crores has been sanctioned for this purpose.
From April onwards, thousand hotels will be set up to provide meals for Rs.20. Rs. 50 crores will be allocated for this.
In addition to this, Rs. 500 crore worth health package for prevention and treatment of Covid-19 will be implemented.
The chief minister has also announced concessions for various industries and sectors.
Arrears worth Rs.14,000 crore due to civil contractors will be cleared immediately.
Fitness fee for auto rickshaws and taxis will be waived while one month tax of state and contract carriages will also be waived.
Consumers would be given a month to clear their electricity and water bills and film theatres would get entertainment tax waiver.
Meeting with defence forces
The chief minister held talks with various defence heads in the state who have promised all possible support to combat the pandemic.
“The forces have promised to provide service of their hospitals, ambulances and other vehicles, barracks, doctors, paramedical staff and other necessary things for coronavirus care. If needed, ambulances have to be used to transport medicines, food and other medical equipments,” added Pinarayi Vijayan.
Meanwhile, cancellation of trains from Kerala, due to low number of passengers, is continuing. The Southern Railway has cancelled 84 trains including seven trains running through Kerala....