More calibrated responses from govt expected as impact of Covid-19 unfolds: SBI Chief

New Delhi: Terming the relief package as timely intervention, SBINSE 2.96 % Chairman Rajnish Kumar on Thursday said more calibrated responses in coming weeks expected as the impact of pandemic COVID-19 unfolds. He said the relief package announced by the Finance minister is timely, well intentioned and has combined both cash transfers and primary food requirements for the marginalised sections of the society for the next three months.

Observing that the global economy is going through unprecedented times and India is no exception, he said, the nationwide lockdown was rightly enforced for the country to stay ahead of the curve in fighting the global pandemic.

“Today’s package will now impart a definite direction to India’s fight against the epidemic. Overall it’s a very well defined package reinforcing government’s intent that no one should be deprived of basic facilities in today’s stressed times. We are hopeful of more calibrated responses in coming weeks as the impact of pandemic unfolds,” he said.

The government on Thursday unveiled a Rs 1.70 lakh crore economic package involving free foodgrain and cooking gas to poor for the next three months, one-time doles to women and poor senior citizens, higher wages to workers and measures to boost liquidity of employees as it looked to contain the impact of unprecedented nationwide lockdown.

Over 80 crore ration card holders will each get 5 kg of wheat or rice and one kg of preferred pulses free of cost every month for the next three months to ensure that poor are not hungry because of the close down of businesses.

Poor women, who got free cooking gas under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana during the last three years, will get free LPG refills in the next three months to tide over tight finance following the nationwide lockdown, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, adding this will benefit 8.3 crore women.

Besides, 20.5 crore women Jan Dhan Account holders will get Rs 500 per month for the next three months, while poor senior citizens, widows and disabled will get a one-time cash dole of Rs 1,000.

Commenting on the Relief package Indian Bank MD and CEO Padmaja Chunduru said it will gives much needed succour to the needy.

“The insurance cover for health care workers, the help to the women in SHGs and the DBT are very necessary,” she added. DP BAL

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