The government of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday approved a series of relief measures for the needy and destitute in view of the 21-day nationwide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The move is expected to benefit nearly 35 lakh people working in the organised and unorganised sectors like daily wagers, pension holders and ordinary citizens.
The measures were sanctioned by Lt Governor G.C. Murmu.
Murmu directed the labour and employment department to release Rs 1,000 to each of the 3.50 lakh workers registered with Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board for purchase of rations during the 21-day lockdown.
The department was also directed to ask the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) to ensure all 2.26 lakh unorganised sector workers, registered under ESIC scheme, are provided with the relief/compensation including wages through ESIC hospitals/employers as directed by the Central government.
The social welfare department was directed to release immediately two instalments of old age, disability and family pension to all the 7.7 lakh pensioners.
The department would additionally cover the 1.7 lakh pending cases to ensure 100 per cent coverage of all eligible cases.
Murmu also directed the finance department to request the banks to honour requests for overdraft by Jan Dhan account holders.
This decision would help nearly 22 lakh Jan Dhan account holders.
In a major relief to contractors and other categories, it was directed that bills for all authorised works and approved procurements, which could not be presented before March 31 due to the ongoing situation, would be entertained in the next financial year as well.
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The decisions are in addition to the decisions taken on Tuesday by the administrative council under the chairmanship of the Lt governor that included provision of two months ration under PDS, one month’s advance ration under mid-day meal, ration packets for slum dwellers and destitutes and Rs 45 crore for management of COVID-19 under disaster response fund.